The Arizona State basketball team beat the Colorado Buffaloes 63-62 on a buzzer-beating layup by displaced starter Evan Gordon on Saturday night.
The overtime period ended as Gordon emerged with the ball after point guard Jahii Carson worked it quickly into the offensive half court with under five seconds remaining, sliding through multiple Buffaloes defenders to bank a right-handed layup into the basket as the backboard went red.
The lay-up prevented ASU from dropping its third straight game, keeping the Sun Devils’ NCAA tournament hopes alive.
The final minute was among the most intense stretches of ASU’s entire season.
ASU was ahead 61-60 late in overtime as Carson dribbled down the clock. After a missed shot, center Jordan Bachynski secured an offensive rebound that turned off the shot clock and forced Colorado to foul forward Carrick Felix with 24 seconds remaining.
After missing both throws, Felix and the rest of the ASU team retreated back on defense and surrendered a far-too-easy layup to an absolutely on-fire Spencer Dinwiddie, with under 10 seconds remaining in the game. This was directly followed by Carson giving it off to Gordon, and the rest was history.
This game was sent into overtime earlier, when ASU was ahead by two points with about 10 seconds left and Colorado drove the length of the court, penetrated the lane and banked in a relatively easy and open layup with two seconds remaining in regulation.
After the game tying layup, Arizona State threw the ball from under Colorado’s basket to the top of the 3-point line to Felix, who chucked up a prayer from downtown that was not answered and sent the game into overtime.
ASU and Colorado were tight the entire way. Colorado’s largest lead was seven and Arizona State’s tallied at six.
As was mentioned, Gordon did not start tonight. Senior Chris Colvin received the starting position in his place, and was relatively ineffective, while Gordon, the team’s second leading scorer, added 14 points off the pine.
Gordon was one of only two significant ASU players called off the bench tonight, the other being Ruslan Pateev, who only played six minutes because Bachynski finally delivered a performance Sun Devils fans have come to expect of the junior center.
Bachynski registered 12 points on 5-8 shooting from the field, as well as adding tough defense down in the interior.
Arizona State was plagued by Buffaloes’ guard Dinwiddie throughout the game’s duration, as the sophomore scored a game high 24 points.
Tournament hopes were kept alive tonight, as well as coach Sendek’s proclamation last week: “Seems like every game we play is close.”
Arizona State returns home Wednesday in their next game against Washington State.