ASU Basketball: Sun Devils force overtime, but Colorado pulls off upset

TEMPE, AZ - DECEMBER 19: Head coach Bobby Hurley of the Arizona State Sun Devils high fives Tra Holder
TEMPE, AZ - DECEMBER 19: Head coach Bobby Hurley of the Arizona State Sun Devils high fives Tra Holder /

After a blistering 12-0 start to the 2017-18 season and reaching as high as the #3 ranking in the AP Poll, ASU basketball has lost their first two games in Pac-12 Play and face an uncertain future

The Arizona State Sun Devils waltzed into the Coors Event Center Thursday night and were dealt a devastating blow, losing to the unranked Colorado Buffaloes 90-81.

The Sun Devils second Pac-12 matchup had the looks of a rout early. The Devils started the game on an 11-0 run, and held an 18-7 lead through the first eight minutes of the game. Things seemed to be back to normal for Bobby Hurley‘s No. 4 ranked squad.

Things took a turn rather fast at the Coors Event Center, and the young and upstart Buffaloes refused to go down without a fight. With determined play from both McKinley Wright IV (19 points, five assists and three rebounds) and George King (18 points and nine rebounds), the Buffaloes were able to gain a marquee victory early in Pac-12 play.

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ASU played one of its worst games in recent memory. Shannon Evans‘ (11 points) first field goal came with 3:50 left in the second half; Kodi Justice (16 points) started hot but finished 4-of-12 from the field. As a team, the Sun Devils shot 36 percent from the floor and 9-of-33 from deep, a recipe that rarely results in a victory.

The second half is where the Buffaloes truly shined. After leading the game for an impressive 32 minutes, ASU’s offense fell flat. A surprising show of grit and grind surfaced as the Buffs went on a 13-2 run resulting in their first lead of the game with eight minutes left.

After taking the lead late in the second half, Buffaloes fans was ready to rush the court and celebrate an upset for the ages.

ASU had other plans.

Showing that resilience that they have all season, the Sun Devils stormed back with a 7-1 run. The run was capped off with a Mickey Mitchell dunk that tied the game at 74 and sent it to overtime.

However the late game heroics were not enough. The Buffs kicked it into overdrive and outscored the Devils 16-7, nabbing a winter-break win.

Tra Holder scored 24 points in a night that saw him move into 10th place on Arizona State’s all-time leading scorer list. A bright spot in a rather dull night.

Kimani Lawrence made his ASU debut against the Buffs. His highly anticipated debut was cut short as he picked up two fouls that sent him to the bench less than a minute into his first game.

Lawrence only played four minutes and scored one point. Despite this, his return is a massive plus for the Sun Devils as they inch closer and closer to march.

Next: ASU Basketball: 2018 Pac-12 Week 1 Power Rankings

The Sun Devils have now lost two games in a row after starting as the hottest team in the nation, and will face the Utah Utes (10-4) Sunday.