Updated Feb 28, 2013 - 10:44 am
Fork Report: Sun Devils fall in overtime, see tournament hopes dwindle
Down 67-62 with a little over four minutes to play, the Sun Devils relied heavily on freshman Jahii Carson. Carson scored the team's final seven points in regulation and helped force overtime. For the night, he finished with 22 points and seven assists.
Carrick Felix struggled with his perimeter jump shot (1-of-4 from three-point range), but ASU's senior forward was active for all 42 minutes he played and recorded a career-high 18 rebounds in defeat.
While ASU made just seven three-point shots, Jonathan Gilling was not the problem Wednesday night. The junior hit six shots from three-point range and scored 18 points.
The Sun Devils desperately needed a road win at UCLA to keep their fading tournament hopes alive following Saturday's disappointing loss at home against Washington.
But Wednesday night, ASU struggled from distance (7-of-25 from three-point range), took some questionable shots late (Jonathan Gilling's three-point attempt with 28 seconds remaining in overtime) and failed to do the little things necessary to win road games this time of year.
On February 16, Herb Sendek hoped moving Evan Gordon to the bench and Chris Colvin to the starting lineup would stabilize both units. While the move has paid some dividends in recent weeks it backfired in a big way at Pauley Pavilion.
In 41 combined minutes, the duo went scoreless on 0-of-6 from the field. Colvin and Gordon were so ineffective that Sendek elected to play sophomore Bo Barnes big minutes in the second half/overtime. Barnes also struggled, going 0-for-2 with two missed layup attempts.
Assistant coach Eric Musselman told ESPN.com's Andy Katz earlier in the week that ASU would need to limit the perimeter scoring of Shabazz Muhammad, Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson if it had any chance of knocking off UCLA on the road.
Instead, for the first time all year the Bruins' star freshmen all scored over 20 points and shot a combined 50 percent from the field.
With a loss at UCLA coupled with Colorado's win at Stanford, ASU now remains all by itself in sixth place in the Pac-12. The Sun Devils finish with two road games and could still theoretically end the regular season at .500 in conference play.
Carrick Felix's 12th double-double of the season puts him atop the Pac-12 in the category. Colorado's Andre Roberson is second with 11.
The Sun Devils (20-9, 9-7) finishes off their two-game Los Angeles trip on Saturday at the Galen Center against USC. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. MST.
Dave Dulberg, Web Content Editor - ArizonaSports.com
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