ASU Basketball: Devils Rebound Against Colorado


Earlier today, ASU got a much-needed conference win against Colorado, holding on for a 78-72 victory.  The Sun Devils exorcised their offensive demons with a 70% shooting effort in the second half.  The Buffs, who were shorthanded for this game, made it interesting by making 4 three-point field goals in the final minute.  The Devils’ 10 point lead was cut to 3 and many ASU fans began to get nervous, fearing yet another meltdown.

It wasn’t to be.  Unlike so many other finishes for the Sun Devils this year, ASU knocked down their late free throws and put the game out of reach.  Freshman guard Tra Holder was 8-10 at the line in the last 90 seconds of the game.  Junior Gerry Blakes was 3-4 in the closing minutes.

While it was refreshing to see ASU finish the game with competence, the story of the game was the shooting/scoring from Shaq McKissic and Bo Barnes.  Barnes was huge in the second half with his three-point shooting.  McKissic, quite frankly, in coaches terms, played “out of his head”.  Shaq was all over the court; attacking the rim, rebounding, challenging shots, running the floor and knocking down jumpers.  McKissic’s energy alone was exactly what this ASU basketball team needed.

It was a team effort, as all of the Sun Devils contributed to winning this game.  But McKissic electrified the crowd and the bench with his authoritative dunks.  His “hustle” play at the end of the first half was a four point swing and provided positive momentum going into halftime.

ASU can now let out a sigh of relief by getting that first conference win.  However, they’ll have to get back to work tomorrow because next weekend’s trip to the bay area is looming.  Both Cal and Stanford are beatable, but they’ll be formidable playing at home.  Hopefully, coach Sendek can motivate his team to continue playing with the focus and effort they displayed this afternoon.