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Arizona State struggle with efficiency, suffer a Wildcats sweep

© Joe Rondone/The Republic | 2024 Feb 29

Arizona State was unable to complete a comeback during its Wednesday night Territorial Cup matchup against the Arizona Wildcats.

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Early struggles

As has been the case for a majority of ASU’s losses this season, they started the game extremely slow.

Through the first six minutes of play, the Sun Devils (14-15, 8-10) trailed by as many as 10 points, starting 1-11 from the field and 0-6 from behind the arc.

After being down 18 in the first half, shots began to fall for Arizona State and the No. 6 ranked Wildcats (22-6, 13-4) entered halftime with a 14-point lead.

Sun Devils fall behind early, trail Wildcats 41-27 at half

ASU found themselves in a familiar situation as the team has trailed and climbed back into games several times this season.


Comeback attempt

The Sun Devils once again climbed back into the game during second-half play, cutting the lead down to just five with seven minutes remaining.

Head coach Bobby Hurley emphasized ahead of this matchup that the team must take higher-quality shots. They struggled with that immensely in their 45-point loss to Arizona earlier in the month.

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Wildcats’ 7-foot center Oumar Ballo got it going after the half. Ballo had eight points and nine rebounds in 15 second-half minutes played.

Led by Adam Miller with 16 points, ASU had four double-digit scorers. Frankie Collins had his least efficient game of the season, finishing just 22% from the field. Collins went 0-9 on two-point field goal attempts.

The Wildcats finished with five scorers in double digits.


Key Stats

Sun Devils: Field goals: 21-60 (35%), 3 Pointers: 7-26 (27%), Free throws: 18-25 (72%)

Wildcats: Field goals: 32-59 (54%), 3 Pointers: 8-21 (38%), Free throws: 13-18 (72%)


Sun Devils: 30 total rebounds, 8 turnovers, 11 fast break points

Wildcats: 43 total rebounds, 14 turnovers, 11 fast break points


Next up for Arizona State

The Sun Devils now take a seven-day break before diving into their final two games of the season.

They will end regular-season play with two road games, as the team travels to face USC and UCLA. They have defeated USC but fell short to UCLA in a controversial game in January.

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With this being the last few games of college basketball for some players, they will leave it all on the court and attempt to make it a run to remember.


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Saleh Awwad is a writer/reporter covering the Arizona State Sun Devils, Phoenix High School Sports, and more for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on X via @SalehAwwad_

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