Wildcats can’t deal with poor offense
TEMPE, Ariz. – Arizona had been able to get way with occasional nights when the 3-pointers and free throws were not falling.
Even with the kind defense the Wildcats play, it wasn’t enough against their biggest rival.
Second-ranked Arizona kept Arizona State close with its defense, but couldn’t overcome another poor shooting night in a 69-66 loss to the Sun Devils on Friday.
Arizona shot 4 of 16 from 3-point range and 16 of 30 on free throws, negating a 54-35 advantage in rebounds, including 18 on the offensive glass.
Arizona State (19-6, 8-4 Pac-12) won it by turning to Jermaine Marshall and relying on Jordan Bachynski.
Marshall, who missed the first game against Arizona, went over 20 minutes without a field goal, but made a pair of 3-pointers in the second overtime, then scored on a drive with 14 seconds left to put the Sun Devils up 67-66. He had eight of his 29 points in the second overtime.
Arizona (23-2, 10-2) didn’t call a timeout and got the ball into the hands of McConnell for a final shot.
The Wildcats’ point guard hit some big shots throughout the game, but his final attempt was sent back by Bachynski, leading to a breakaway dunk by Jahii Carson that sent the fans pouring onto the court.
One problem: There was still time left on the clock. Less than a second, but enough for the Wildcats to get off a good shot.
Nick Johnson got a good one, too. It hit the rim and bounced away, though.