Utes fall just short in Pac-12 opener
Tempe, Ariz • Jason Washburn, normally a jovial person, trudged slowly out of Utah's locker room on Wednesday night. He didn't make eye contact with anyone who crossed his path.
The senior center had just played the best game of his career a 19-point, 18-rebound masterpiece with four blocks and a steal. Yet, somehow, he couldn't make one more play in Arizona State's 55-54 clipping of the Utes in overtime at Wells Fargo Arena.
Before 5,314 fans, Utah put in everything it had to almost beat the Sun Devils. As it turns out, the Utes didn't have Jahii Carson. Arizona State did, as the sensational freshman point guard made a game-winning banker over Washburn's outstretched hands with 35 seconds remaining in the extra session.
"This hurts," Washburn said in a quiet tone. "To lose a game like this that we feel we should've won really hurts. I don't know. We have to go back and look at the film, see what more we could've done. Right now, it's hard."
In losing to the Sun Devils, Utah squandered multiple opportunities to pull out the first Pac-12 road win of Larry Krystkowiak's Ute coaching career. The Utes had multiple chances in the final seconds. But a little runner in the lane by Washburn wouldn't stay in the basket. Finally, Utah's hope at winning came down to a forced turnaround jumper by Washburn. It was an airball, one that freshman forward Jordan Loveridge caught with both hands. But Loveridge's putback was off-balance. It missed, as both Loveridge and the ball fell to the floor. The Arizona State players, victory assured, ran off the floor in jubilation.
"I'm proud of the guys," Krystkowiak said. "They really put forth a great effort tonight, and they played hard. I'm disappointed that we lost, but I'm not frustrated at all. We have to go back, and see what we could've done. But the guys put themselves in position to win tonight."
After two Loveridge free throws in regulation supplied Utah with a 49-46 advantage, the Utes forced an ASU miss on the next possession. A rebound there would've gone a long way toward securing a big win. But Utah never got that rebound, as the Sun Devils recovered and kicked the ball to Carson.
Swish. From 25 feet away, the freshman drained the game-tying 3-pointer, despite having missed 17 of his last 19 tries from beyond the arc. The shot seemingly carried Arizona State through the overtime period.
"It was a little difficult," Krystkowiak said. "We switched a lot of the pick-and-rolls, so we had smaller guys on their big people. It's one of the choices that we made and that we have to live with. I was happy with the defense. We held them to their lowest point total in this building."
In addition to the career night from Washburn, Utah (8-5, 0-1) got 12 points and three assists from Jarred DuBois. Loveridge scored seven of his nine points after halftime and grabbed 11 rebounds, narrowly missing a double-double.Senior forward Carrick Felix led Arizona State with 17 points and 13 rebounds.
O Utah senior Jason Washburn, pictured, tallies 19 points, 18 rebounds, four blocks and a steal.
• Jahii Carson makes the game-tying 3-pointer in regulation and the game-winner in OT.
• Utah misses three chances to win in the closing seconds.
• Utah falls to 8-5 on the season.
Arizona State 55,Utah 54 (OT)
UTAH (8-5) • Loveridge 3-11 3-3 9, Washburn 8-15 3-3 19, Dean 2-7 0-0 5, Dotson 1-4 0-1 2, DuBois 4-13 2-2 12, Lenz 0-2 0-0 0, Taylor 0-3 0-0 0, Bachynski 1-1 0-0 2, Olsen 0-0 0-0 0, Martin 1-2 3-3 5. Totals 20-58 11-12 54.
ARIZONA ST. (12-2) • Felix 7-15 1-4 17, Gilling 2-8 0-0 5, Bachynski 7-10 0-1 14, Carson 5-18 4-4 15, Gordon 0-5 0-1 0, Colvin 0-3 0-0 0, Jacobsen 0-0 0-0 0, Pateev 2-3 0-0 4. Totals 23-62 5-10 55.
HalftimeArizona St. 25-24.
End Of RegulationTied 49. 3-Point GoalsUtah 3-11 (DuBois 2-2, Dean 1-4, Taylor 0-2, Loveridge 0-3), Arizona St. 4-18 (Felix 2-4, Gilling 1-5, Carson 1-6, Colvin 0-1, Gordon 0-2). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsUtah 44 (Washburn 18), Arizona St. 39 (Felix 13). AssistsUtah 10 (DuBois, Martin 3), Arizona St. 11 (Carson 4). Total FoulsUtah 13, Arizona St. 15. A5,314.