Concluding a three-game road trip, ASU basketball outlasted Utah 80-77 for the program’s first win in Salt Lake City since 1975.
The Jon M. Huntsman Center has been a house of horrors for Arizona State men’s basketball in recent years. The Sun Devils lost their previous three road meetings with the Utes by an average of 33 points and have not left Salt Lake City victorious since 1975… that is, until Sunday night.
Led by a combined 42 points from seniors Kodi Justice and Shannon Evans, ASU ended a 43-year losing streak at Utah with an 80-77 win. The result serves as the Sun Devils first victory in Pac-12 play after falling at Arizona and Colorado.
ASU started strong for the second game in a row, leading by as many as 11 points in the first half before Utah roared back to take a one-point lead at halftime. Graduate transfer Justin Bibbins paced the Utes with fearless drives to the basket.
Following a victory over Kansas on Dec. 10, Arizona State men’s basketball has been commonly referred to as “Guard U”. That moniker was put to the test in the second half.
Forwards Romello White, De’Quon Lake, and Vitaliy Shibel all found themsevles in foul trouble throughout the game before fouling out. The Sun Devils committed 31 fouls and conceded 36 free throw attempts to Utah.
Mitchell put the Sun Devils ahead for good on a pair of free throws with 21 seconds remaining.
With the win, ASU improves to 13-2 on the season while Utah drops to 10-5. Next, the Sun Devils return home for a series against Oregon and Oregon State beginning on Thursday.