(Photo: ASU Athletics)
Arizona State ended their regular season with a 78-76 overtime loss at the hands of the Oregon State Beavers Saturday afternoon.
The overtime period played host to back-and-forth basketball for the first few possessions of the extra five minutes of play. However as time ticked on, Oregon State began to pull away from ASU.
Jahii Carson was 8 for 10 from the free throw line in the game, and those free throws were a big reason why his team was able to extend the game into overtime. But it was the last free throw Carson missed that hammered in the second-to-last nail into the Sun Devils’ coffin.
Because the final nail inserted into ASU’s ply-wood home for the game came after Carson’s missed free throw, as OSU’s Roberto Nelson was able to rattle in a three-pointer with only 21 seconds remaining to move the overtime score to 76-72.
Late in the second half it actually did seem as though the Sun Devils were dead in the dirt. However, after a few Carson layups in traffic and timely Jonathan Gilling three-pointers, ASU was still within striking distance without about 30 seconds left in the second half.
With the Beavers ahead 67-64 Hallice Cooke missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw trip. Cooke’s miss allowed the Sun Devils to move the ball in transition and kick it out to Jermaine Marshall who tied the game up at 67-67.
Before Marshall made the game-tying shot, the wingman had been 0 for 10 from the field on the day. He would later foul out in overtime, and finish 1 for 11 from the field. But there is no denying that his one conversion was huge.
The game was a tale of two different ends of the court. Oregon State had a field day from the interior on offense, while Arizona State’s offense suffered mightily from the Beavers’ zone defense. Aside from Jahii Carson, the Sun Devils did not have much success in the paint.
Carson was once again bestowed the task of shouldering the bulk of ASU’s offensive load. The sophomore ended with 24 points, seven assists, as well as a 9 for 11 day at the free throw line.
Gilling was one of the only other Sun Devils who aided Carson’s valiant effort Saturday. Gilling scored 20 points on 6 for 8 shooting, all six of which came from behind the arc.
The rest of the Arizona State squad outside of those two collectively shot 12 for 36 from the field.
ASU’s regular season has now concluded with the loss to Oregon State. Had the Sun Devils won, they would have clinched the third seed in the Pac-12 tournament as well as a first round bye.
However they now will have to wait out the result of other Pac-12 games. The most important game to ASU’s conference tournament future is likely the afternoon bout between the Colorado Buffaloes and California Bears.
You can reach Cammeron Neely on Twitter at @CammeronNeely or by email at email@example.com.