The Sun Devils captured their second Pac-12 win after defeating the Colorado Buffaloes 65-56 tonight in Wells Fargo Arena.
“Colorado is a well-coached team. They’re one of the best teams in the Pac-12. Coming into this game we knew it was going to be a battle,” guard Carrick Felix said. “We definitely stepped up to the challenge.”
The Sun Devils (13-2, 2-0 Pac-12) were able to snag the win in large part because of their second-half defense. They held the Buffaloes (10-4, 0-2 Pac-12) to 26.3 percent shooting in the second half.
“The defensive effort in the second half was outstanding,” head coach Herb Sendek said. “The guys just really played with a lot of heart … It’s heart, and I don’t know if there’s a better word to depict our team tonight.”
Colorado opened the game up with a 13-2 run, and dominated the first ten minutes of the game. ASU struggled to get things going early, as they shot 16.7 percent before the first timeout.
Backup point guard Chris Colvin was able to spark the Sun Devil offense by dishing out four assists. The Sun Devils trailed 20-7 at 9:02, but they were able to close out the half on a 23-13 run.
Center Jordan Bachynski and guard Carrick Felix closed out the half with ten points apiece, and Colvin added two points to go with the four dishes. Despite the comeback, ASU still trailed 33-30 at halftime.
In the second half, ASU kept their momentum going. Both teams went back and forth exchanging baskets until Felix gave ASU a 41-39 lead at 14:39, after which point ASU never relinquished the lead. The team pieced together and 11-0 run that spanned nearly seven minutes to widen the lead, and then closed the game out with 10 made free throws in the last two minutes of the game.
Felix finished with 20 points and eight rebounds, and Bachynski added 16 points and nine blocks. Spencer Dinwiddie led the Buffaloes in scoring with 19 points.
ASU will next travel to take on Oregon State (10-4, 0-1 Pac-12) on January 10th.