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ASU opens conference play with an overtime squeaker over Utah

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In the opening game of the Pac-12 Conference basketball season, Carrick Felix had a double-double (17 points, 13 rebounds) and Jordan won the battle of the Bachynski brothers as Arizona State defeated Utah in a slow-paced overtime thriller 55-54.

Neither team could seem to get their shots to fall. The Sun Devils shot 37 percent compared to the Utes’ 34 percent. Arizona State also continued to struggle with their free throw shooting and was only 50 percent from the line.  Jordan Bachynski finished with 14 points while his brother Dallin only managed two points. Jahii Carson finished with 15 points.

The game was back-and-forth with Utah controlling the slow pace for much of the contest. Neither team had a lead larger than six points throughout. Utah raced out to a 15-7 lead before a 14-2 run gave ASU a 21-17 lead.  Jason Washburn, who led Utah with 19 points and 18 rebounds, put in a buzzer beater to send the game into halftime with ASU holding on to a 25-24 lead.

In the second half, Utah quickly tied the game at 27 and took a 42-41 lead with 7:12 left in the game.  More back-and-forth action came to a climax with just over a minute left in regulation.

Jahii Carson, who shot 5 of 18 from the field and struggled to find a rhythm most of the night, came up big late and accounted for ASU’s last five points in regulation. That included his first made three-point shot with 1:01 left to play, which tied the game at 49 a piece and send it into overtime.

In the extra period, a three pointer by Jarred Dubois of Utah gave the Utes the 54-53 lead with 41 seconds to go. Jahii Carson then raced down the court and made the game winning fade away layup some six seconds later to give ASU the 55-54 lead. The Sun Devils then held off Utah in one last defensive stand to seal the victory.

ASU had not played an overtime game since a 73-72 loss to UCLA on Jan. 29, 2011 The team is  6-4 in overtime under coach Herb Sendek. The Sun Devils’ next game is Sunday, January 6 against Colorado in Wells Fargo Arena.

 

Nick Krueger can be reached via email at nkruege1@asu.edu or via twitter @npkrueger

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