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Arizona State’s Second Half Meltdown Leads to Embarassing 89-84 Loss to San Diego

Arizona State allowed San Diego to score 61 second-half points, which allowed the Torreros to come back and shock the Sun Devils 89-84.

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Black Hills State transfer PJ Hayes and Bucknell transfer Deuce Turner combined for 46 points. Thirty-nine of which came in the second half.

The game started with how you would expect when a team from the Power 5 faces a team that is expected to be the worst in the West Coast Conference. Alonzo Gaffney scored seven early points, and Jamiya Neal, Jose Perez, and Frankie Collins all had major early contributions. Arizona State had 23 points in the first eight minutes, and San Diego was doing nothing. They only mustered 11,

San Diego finally showed life with a 10-3 run to close the gap to within five. However, Jose Perez and Brycen Long answered immediately with a 7-0 run. Once again, it was a 12-point lead. San Diego closed the gap to eight with a late surge led by Jimmy Oladokun. The score was 36-28 at halftime.

The star of the first half was easily Brycen Long. Long had seven points total coming into this game. He had 6 in the first half, going 2/2 from three.  Gaffney started with seven but didn’t score another basket. Perez finished with 9, and Jamiya Neal had 8.

The second half was different. It was fully back and forth, with the lead hovering around eight for the first seven minutes. San Diego eventually made back-to-back layups to cut it to four. However, Brycen Long immediately answered with a three. Deuce Turner answered with back-to-back threes to cut the lead to one, but not for long. Long and Collins immediately drained threes of their own to grow the lead back to seven, and it felt like ASU had it. However, PJ Hayes would hit a three and a layup to close the lead to three before Steven Jamerson would cut it to one with a layup.

Arizona State would come back with Brycen Long getting fouled on a three and making all three free throws. Jamiya Neal would also make two free throws, and the lead was back to six.

Then, the Sun Devils collapsed. The Toreros, led by Deuce Turner, would go on a 13-0 run to take a seven-point lead with 3:45 to go.

You would think that would be the end of the Sun Devils, but no, they came back. Jose Perez made four free throws, Jamiya Neal hit two threes, and Frankie Collins made a layup to tie the game at 83. However, they started fouling the wrong player. They fouled PJ Hayes twice, and he went 3-4 from the line in that stretch to give the Toreros a two-point lead. Hayes missed his last free throw, but Alonzo Gaffney tipped the ball out of bounds, and the Toreros got the ball.

Freshman Kevin Patton Jr. would make the most veteran move you will see. He threw the ball off Jose Perez’s back on the inbound, grabbed it, and made an easy layup to seal the game for San Diego.

Jamiya Neal finished with 20 points, Long, Perez, and Collins all had 15, and Gaffney had 11. Unfortunately, Hayes and Turner finished with 23 for the Toreros. Wayne McKinney III had 15, and Steven Jamerson had 10. It was one of the worst defensive performances I’ve ever seen in the second half. The Sun Devils made too many costly mistakes, and the win streak was snapped at four.

San Diego moves to 7-4 with this win, while the Sun Devils drop to 6-4.

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