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Arizona State Collapses in 71-70 Upset Loss to Stanford

Arizona State's stay in Las Vegas was short and unsweet.

The Arizona State Sun Devils began their quest for a magical run in the Pac-12 tournament Wednesday, competing in the opening round of the bracket as the No. 8 seed after winning seven of their final eight games to finish the regular season. 

Standing in their way was No. 9 Stanford, who previously fell to Arizona State last week.

After leading by as much as 17 points in the game, the Sun Devils crumbled under pressure and were bounced after just one game in Las Vegas. 

Here's how the action panned out in Arizona State's opening-round loss against Stanford:

First-Half Recap


G DJ Horne
G Jay Heath
F Kimani Lawrence
F Jalen Graham
F Alonzo Gaffney

Horne opened Arizona State's scoring with a three-pointer to give ASU its first lead of the game, 3-2. The Sun Devils led 6-4 at the first media timeout with 15:40 left. All two of ASU's converted shots came from three-point land.

Stanford battled back to tie the game at 13 before ASU guard Luther Muhammad answered with a three-pointer to again put the Sun Devils in the lead at the 10:31 media timeout, 16-13. The Cardinal scored 10 of their 13 points inside the paint.

Following the break, five different Sun Devils added their names to the scoring sheet to keep ASU's lead intact. 

With 23.3 seconds remaining, ASU head coach Bobby Hurley called a timeout in an attempt to draw one last play for his squad before the half came to a conclusion but it was unsuccessful. 

The Sun Devils hit the locker room at halftime leading 31-27. 

Both teams endured scoring droughts of over two minutes as the half expired. Stanford forward Spencer Jones and Arizona State guard Marreon Jackson each led their team in scoring with 11 points. 

ASU shot a superb 46.7% from downtown, a big reason the Sun Devils led for 17:11 in the opening 20 minutes. 

Second-Half Recap

Heath began ASU's scoring by nailing a three-pointer on Arizona State's first shot attempt of the second half. The Sun Devils quickly saw their first double-digit lead of the game after a Horne three-pointer.

At the 16:00 media timeout, ASU led 42-30 and outscored the Cardinal 11-3 to begin the second half. Three of Arizona State's four field goals were behind the arc with Horne nailing two of them. 

The Sun Devils continued to build their lead, holding a 15-point advantage over Stanford with under 12 minutes left. 

The Cardinal wouldn't go away, however. Stanford battled back and brought Arizona State's lead down to seven. ASU's strong three-point shooting continued to carry the Sun Devils through the second half, as their lead appeared to be too large for Stanford to overcome. 

The Cardinal took advantage of poor free-throw shooting from ASU and went on a 9-0 run with two minutes remaining, closing Arizona State's lead to 69-64 after a timeout called by the Sun Devils with 1:22 remaining.

Stanford forward Brandon Angel scored on a layup to draw the Cardinal within three, erasing what was once a 17-point advantage for the Sun Devils. 

After Jackson went to the free-throw line and missed his second attempt, Jones hit a clutch three-pointer to draw the Cardinal within one, 70-69. Immediately following the bucket, Stanford head coach Jerod Haase called a timeout with 37.8 seconds remaining. 

After a missed jump shot by Graham, the Cardinal pushed the ball up the court and sunk a shot at the buzzer that would seal the upset victory.

Stanford finished the game on a 16-1 run, while Arizona State didn't make a field goal in the final three minutes of the game. 

The Sun Devils made just three of their seven free-throw attempts in the second half, shooting better from downtown (54%) than the stripe (43%).

Stat Leaders

Points: Horne (21)
Rebounds: Graham (6)
Jackson (4)

What's Next

Arizona State now awaits their fate for postseason play, with a bid in the NCAA tournament extremely unlikely.