ASU basketball continued its slow start in Pac-12 play with an 86-77 loss to Stanford. The Sun Devils are 2-4 since the calendar turned to conference play.
Arizona State spent the first two months of the college basketball season building its identity as a high-octane offense. Over the past six games, ASU has been trying to identify ways to win when shots aren’t falling.
The two teams played a tightly contested first half before the Cardinal surged ahead by as many as 15 points in the second half. Despite a cold shooting night from Tra Holder (3-of-14), the Sun Devils trimmed the deficit to two backed by strong second half performances from Kodi Justice, Shannon Evans and White.
Following their loss to Stanford, ASU has dropped four of its past six games after being the final undefeated team in the country.
Forward Josh Sharma averages 4.1 points per game. Against ASU, the junior put together a season-high 14 points, including several highlight-worthy dunks, to go along with four rebounds and two blocks.
This is not the first time a reserve has hurt the Sun Devils in Pac-12 play. Roman Sorkin of Oregon averages 4.5 points per game and scored 13 points in Tempe.
Trouble for Tra
Much of the Sun Devils early-season success can be attributed to the play of senior Tra Holder. Over the past four games, Holder has been unable to get going offensively, shooting an anemic 11-of-46 from the floor during that span.
Holder finished with nine points of 3-of-14 shooting in 33 minutes played.
Too Big to GuardU
The offense of the Sun Devils thrives on transition points and creating space, leading to the installment of four-guard sets. However, Stanford made ASU pay for going small by utilizing an abundance of height to win the battle on the glass 44-30, including 13 offensive rebounds and 46 points in the paint.
Up next, ASU will look to right the ship in Berkeley when the Sun Devils take on California at 8:30 p.m. MT from Haas Pavilion. That game will be available on Pac-12 Network.