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ASU Men’s Basketball: Sun Devils drop another close one, this time to Stanford

(Photo: Scotty Bara/WCSN)

Despite a brilliant second-half performance, the Arizona State Sun Devils suffered their third loss in a row to the Stanford Cardinal by a score of 75-73 at Maples Pavilion on Saturday night.

Stanford senior forward Rosco Allen made a layup with five seconds left for what proved to be the game-winner for the Cardinal. A three-point chance by ASU senior guard Gerry Blakes was off the mark as time expired.

Allen torched the Sun Devils all game, scoring a game-high 24 points on 8-for-14 shooting. Sophomore guard Tra Holder was the leader for ASU, dropping 18 points to go with five rebounds and four assists.

The first half did not start out well for the Sun Devils as they went down by 10 early in the game. They never lead and allowed Stanford to 40 points. The Cardinal took a 40-34 lead into the break.

In the second half, much like the rest of the season, ASU began to crawl back into the game. After being down six at half and never leading, the Sun Devils clawed their way back to take a one-point lead with 1:41 left.

Both teams traded buckets and then Stanford guard Dorian Pickens made one of his two free throws with 36 seconds left to tie the game at 73. Holder had a look at a three-pointer with 15 seconds left, but missed the shot. On the other end, Allen made his layup that ultimately won the game for Stanford.

Player of the Game: Tra Holder

Holder was the sole source of consistent offense for ASU in the game, scoring (STAT) points to lead the team in scoring. Holder has led ASU in scoring in 11 of the team’s 20 games this season and has been productive in almost every one.

Holder dished out four of his five assists in the second half and really helped the Sun Devils climb back into the game after being down by 11.

Biggest Concern: Free-throw shooting

Coming into the game, ASU was shooting a respectable 71 percent from the free throw line as a team. Against Stanford they had another bad game from the charity stripe.

The Sun Devils shot 59 percent from the line and made 10 of their 17 free throws. The seven points they left at the line was the difference between a win and a loss in a game that was close at the end.

Unsung Hero: Willie Atwood

Senior forward Willie Atwood had one of his best games of the season against Stanford. He scored 16 points and grabbed five boards for ASU.

Atwood’s went 2-for-5 from the beyond the arc and provided the complimentary offense that Holder is often missing in ASU losses this season.

Stat of the Night: 37 points

Stanford’s two leading scorers, Rosco Allen and junior guard Marcus Allen, scored a combined 37 points on 13-for-26 shooting. The Allens did damage against a Sun Devil defense that has been struggling as of late.

The Cardinal are last in the Pac-12 in points per game but were able to score efficiently against ASU, knocking the Sun Devils to 1-5 in conference on the season.

What’s Next?

ASU looks to stop their three-game skid at home when they take on Oregon State in Tempe on Thursday, Jan. 28

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