Arizona State junior guard Evan Gordon may have had the final score against Colorado, but he won’t have vivid recollections of the decisive overtime shot, which helped the Sun Devils defeat the Buffaloes 63-62 in Boulder.
“I don’t know if it touched the glass,” Gordon said. “I didn’t even know if it went in or not. I just saw my teammates jump off the bench and come over and tackle me.”
Gordon’s game-winner came after Spencer Dinwiddie’s bucket with 8.3 seconds left had given the Buffaloes a 62-61 lead. Gordon finished with 14 points.
Gordon’s starring role against Colorado was a bit of a surprise. Arizona State had used the same starting lineup almost the entire season, but last night, Gordon came off the bench and played 30 minutes and had 14 points, including 4-of-8 from three-point range.
Not surprisingly, freshman guard Jahii Carson also had an impressive performance, erasing memories of ASU’s disappointing loss to Utah in Salt Lake City. His 18 points led the Sun Devils, who won for the first time in four tries in Boulder and swept the season series against the Buffaloes.
For all intents and purposes, Arizona State seemed to have the game sewn up near the end of regulation, leading 54-48 with 1:19 left. However, Colorado battled back — scoring the next six points and sending the contest into overtime. The lead then changed hands six times, with Dinwiddie making a key basket with nine seconds remaining on the clock to give Colorado a 62-61 lead.
In the end, Carson dished the ball to Gordon, who found an open lane down the right side of the court and made a running layup at the buzzer to seal the victory for ASU.
Arizona State improves to 19-7 and 8-5 in the Pac-12, reclaiming the coveted fourth overall seed in the Pac-12 Tournament and giving their NCAA bracket hopes a critical boost. The win will improve the Sun Devils’ RPI and interject them back into post-season discussions.
For ASU coach Herb Sendek, the only thing that’s important now is a much-needed win on the road.
“It (tournament speculation) doesn’t matter because there’s so much basketball to be played,’’ Sendek said. “That will change a million times between now and Selection Sunday. There’s so much parity in college basketball. There are so many good teams.”