A slow start led to an exciting, fast-paced finish as Arizona State (20-10, 9-8) fell to USC (14-15, 9-7) by a score of 57-56.
The most controversial call of the afternoon came with 18 seconds left, when a shot clock violation should have seemingly been called on the Trojans. Referees ruled that junior big man Jordan Bachynski committed a foul before the violation would have occurred, giving USC two free throws and a 57-52 lead.
Jahii Carson then made a jumper to pull ASU to within three points 57-54 and forced a turnover on an inbounds pass. Carson made another layup, cutting the USC lead to one 57-56 with five seconds left.
The Sun Devils then fouled, and Eric Wise missed the front end of the one and one, giving ASU the last chance. Carson couldn’t pull out the win when he missed a buzzer beater from just past half court.
Carrick Felix picked up two fouls early, and both teams got off to sluggish starts. The score was 3-2 after 4 minutes.
After USC extended the lead to 28-9 with 4:11 left in the half, ASU picked up the energy level and went on an 11-3 run of their own and went into halftime only down 31-20.
USC once again extended the lead to as many as 15 points when Omar Oraby made a free throw to give the Trojans a 45-30 lead with 11:08 remaining in the game. The Sun Devils went on a 26-12 run the rest of the game behind Jordan Bachynski and Jahii Carson. Senior Jio Fontan fouled out for USC with 4:49 left to play.
ASU does not play again until next Saturday, when they face the University of Arizona at the McKale Center in Tucson. The opening tip is scheduled for 2:30 MT.
Jahii Carson finished with 23 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Jordan Bachynski had 17 points and four rebounds. Chris Colvin added 10 points, four steals, three assists and three rebounds for the Sun Devils.
Eric Jacobsen started for ASU but only managed three rebounds. Evan Gordon also started and went scoreless with one rebound. It is now next to impossible for ASU to make the NCAA tournament with an at-large bid and must win the Pac-12 tournament in order to get in.
ASU shot 42.9 percent from the field and 1 of twelve, 8.3 percent from behind the arc. They committed 13 turnovers while only managing 9 assists. The Sun Devils were seven of 11, 63.6 percent from the charity stripe.
Eric Wise finished with 12 points and six rebounds followed by Byron Wesley and J.T. Terrell with 11 and ten points respectively. Jio Fontan fouled out of his last game as a senior but walk-on Chass Bryan came on and played well in place of Fontan.
The Trojans shot 39.2 percent from the field 5-12 (41.7 percent) from beyond. USC also managed 13 turnovers, nine assists, and outrebounded ASU 33-29.