Arizona State watched their NCAA Tournament bubble nearly burst on Wednesday night as they fell to Utah, 60-55 in Salt Lake City.
Utah (11-13, 3-9 Pac-12) went on a 13-2 run over the last two minutes of the game to seal the win.
Utes center Jason Washburn finished with 26 points and nine rebounds. ASU’s (18-7, 7-5 Pac-12) free throw woes continued as they shot only 40 percent from the line.
ASU fell behind early as Utah forward Jordan Loveridge and Washburn combined for Utah’s first nine points and 39 points on the night.
Three point shooting kept ASU in the game as Utah took a 29-22 lead into halftime.
The Sun Devils continued to chip away over the course of one minute and 14 seconds, as forward Carrick Felix scored seven straight points to give ASU a 39-37 lead with 11:05 remaining in the second half. It was their first lead since 18:54 in the first half when they led 2-0.
Felix was one of the few bright spots for ASU. The senior had his fifth double-double in seven games and his tenth overall this season, as he finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Back-up point guard Chris Colvin had 10 points, six rebounds, and four assists on the night as well.
ASU stretched its lead all the way to 49-41 before a 6-0 run by Utah put the Utes back in the game. Guard Brandon Taylor’s first points of the night came with 2:09 left in the game to put the Utes within one point at 53-52. ASU point guard Jahii Carson then missed a jumper and Washburn made a layup at the other end to give Utah a lead which they never relinquished.
Carson also made two crucial mistakes late when he fouled Taylor with 32 seconds left in the game but only four seconds left on the shot clock and was then called for a charge with 17 seconds left to seal the game for Utah.
ASU continues their rocky mountain road trip Saturday night when they play Colorado (16-7, 6-5 Pac-12) at 7 p.m. on ESPNU.