Tempe, AZ - The USC Trojans made costly mistakes as Arizona State came from behind in an 83-82 victory. Kodi Justice (6'5''-G) poured in 22 points to lead the Sun Devils to the win.
Both teams traded baskets the entire first half. Arizona State caught fire from behind the arc. Arizona State's Justice, who averages just 8 ppg scored 12 points in the first half. He scored nine of his points in the first five minutes and all of his points came from behind the arc. The Sun Devils shot 62.5 percent from 3 and 53.1 percent from the field. Tra Holder, the Sun Devils second leading scorer at 17 ppg, scored 12 points as well. Obinna Oleka pitched in nine points. Andre Adams was the surprise of the first half. Adams who hadn't seen much time all year came off the bench and scored five points and grabbed five rebounds. For the Trojans they had balanced scoring across the board. Their leading scorer Bennie Boatwright (14.9 ppg) led the way for the Trojans with 10 points. Elijah Stewart also pitched in 10 points. USC shot 69.2 percent from the field and 53.3 percent from behind the arc. Chimezie Metu (14.3 ppg) scored nine points in the first half. Metu hit a half court buzzer beater at the end of the half to give the Trojans a 48-47 lead going into halftime.
The Trojans and Sun Devils started off a little slow to start the second half, but it didn't take long for either team to pick it up. Justice picked up where he left off knocking down a deep three and getting into the lane to score. Oleka had a big second half finishing the game with 18 points and 10 rebounds. When you thought ASU was going to pull away, the Trojans came back . Boatwright caught fire in the second half bringing out his full arsenal, getting it done it the paint and from behind the arc. He finished the game with 22 points and five rebounds, shooting 8-of-12 from the field and 5-of-8 from behind the arc. Metu was a beast on the boards grabbing 13 rebounds and scoring 14 points to finish out the game. The Trojans shot 44.8 percent from the field in the second half.
The Sun Devils who rely so much on the 3-point shot all season, only shot 25 percent from behind the arc and 39.4 percent from the field in the second half. As the game winded down it seem like all USC had to do was take care of the ball and knock in some free throws. ASU put together a comeback down by six, getting a big layup from Holder to cut the lead to four. ASU had to foul on the inbound pass to force USC to make free throws. Elijah Stewart went to the line for a 1-and-1, and missed the first free throw with 22 seconds left in the game. ASU then got a big three from Justice with 14 seconds left to play to cut USC's lead to 82-81. USC's Boatwright then turned the ball over on the inbound pass and Holder drove to the basket and got fouled with 6.9 seconds left in the game. He made both free throws giving the Sun Devils an 83-82 lead. USC got a good last look from behind the arc, but the shot was no good. Holder finished the game with 18 points and six assists.
The Sun Devils improve to 14-16 on the year and 7-10 in conference play. They take on their rivals, the Arizona Wildcats in Tempe on March 4th. The Wildcats won the previous matchup between the two. As for USC, they fall to 21-8 and 8-8 in conference play. They take on the Washington State Cougars in Los Angeles on March 1st.
Player of the Year:Michael Mallory(6'1''-G) of S.Connecticut Rookie of the Year: Marshall Lange (6'2''-G) of Newberry Coach of the Year: Patrick Beilein of Le Moyne Honorable Mention Gerrel Irvin (6'8''-F) of Dominican, NY Hunter Leveau (6'5''-F) of King Michael Mallory (6'1''-G) of S.Connecticut Matthew Dogan (6'7''-G) of Gannon [read more]
Oregon Advances After Surviving Michigan's Buzzer-Beater Attempt - 8 hours ago
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The scoreboard had Oregon up by 2 points at the half, but it felt as though Michigan, the underdog, was about to overwhelm the Ducks. Michigan's point guard, Derrick Walton (6'1''-G-95) Jr., a senior, had deftly amassed seven assists, looking for all the world like a quarterback finding receivers like Duncan Robinson (6'8''-G/F-94) and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman through thickets of defenders. D. J. Wilson, a junior with a tall haircut and short shorts, had hit two 3-pointers and contribut... [read more]
The scoreboard had Oregon up by 2 points at the half, but it felt as though Michigan, the underdog, was about to overwhelm the Ducks. Michigan's point guard, Derrick Walton (6'1''-G-95) Jr., a senior, had deftly amassed seven assists, looking for all the world like a quarterback finding receivers like Duncan Robinson (6'8''-G/F-94) and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman through thickets of defenders. D. J. Wilson, a junior with a tall haircut and short shorts, had hit two 3-pointers and contributed a block and a steal in just seven minutes of play, his time limited by foul trouble. But Michigan's seemingly impending surge never materialized, as third-seeded Oregon, playing one of the country's most 3-point-happy teams, began to take more aim from deep and hit 3-pointers. And hit them and hit them and hit them. Five from sophomore Tyler Dorsey (6'4''-SG-96), two from junior Dillon Brooks (6'6''-F-96) - all in the second half. The Ducks, which entered making fewer than one-third of their shots from deep, made 47.1 percent (8-for-17) for the game. But Dorsey's most crucial shot came not from beyond the 3-point line, but on an acrobatic drive to the basket that put the Ducks ahead by a point with 1 minute 9 seconds remaining. Those proved to be the final points in a 69-68 victory for Oregon (32-5) over seventh-seeded Michigan (26-12), sending the Ducks to the round of eight on Saturday to play the winner of the later game Thursday night, between No. 1 Kansas and No. 4 Purdue. The Ducks were led by Dorsey and the junior Jordan Bell (6'9''-F-95). Dorsey had 20 points; Bell had a double-double, with 16 points and 13 rebounds - including, on the possession before Dorsey's lay-in, a crucial board on a missed Oregon free throw that he put back to cut Michigan's lead to 1 point. Michigan's Walton finished with 20 points and 8 assists, and his fellow senior guard Zak Irvin (6'6''-G/F-94) had 19 points and 8 rebounds. Moritz Wagner, a 6-foot-10 sophomore from Berlin, who goes by Moe, was Michigan's leading scorer in the last game, an upset of second-seeded Louisville, but on Thursday he appeared physically overwhelmed in the low post and hapless elsewhere, at one point botching a clear layup after Oregon gave him the lane. He finished with 7 points on 10 shots and barely saw the court in the second half. When Brooks hit a 3 with a little more than 13 minutes left in the game, Oregon led by 50-44 and looked in control. But the Ducks let the Wolverines back in it, missing their next five field goals and going scoreless for more than three minutes. Wilson played terrific defense on Bell, forcing him into a miss one-on-one in the post and then grabbing the rebound. Michigan took a 51-50 lead with Walton sitting for the first time in the game. Then Oregon fought back and built a 56-51 lead, with Tyler Ennis (6'2''-G-94, college: Syracuse) contributing a 3-point play. Wilson brilliantly faked his defender with the ball down low, only to miss the layup. Later, Wilson found Irvin underneath in a Walton-like assist to cut Oregon's lead to three. The game continued to seesaw between 3- and 5-point Oregon leads until Wilson hit a 3 to cut Oregon's lead to 60-58 with less than five minutes left. On Michigan's next possession, Walton dribbled at the top of the key, and Oregon's defense dropped back, giving him room to hit his own 3-pointer for a 61-60 lead for the Wolverines with 4:15 remaining. The lead was short-lived: Another Oregon 3-pointer was in store, from Dorsey. On the other end? A 3 from Irvin. With fewer than two minutes left and the shot clock dribbling, Walton took it upon himself again, creating a fadeaway shot that seemed to take an eternity to decide whether to go through the hoop or not. It finally decided in the affirmative, making the score 68-65 - Michigan's largest lead since the first half. Bell grabbed a missed Oregon free throw and put it in to make it a one-point Wolverines lead. This was followed by Dorsey's athletic drive to make it 69-68 Oregon with one minute remaining. Walton had one last chance to go ahead, but his attempt at a buzzer-beating 3-pointer was short. Though a major-conference champion with a famous football team, Michigan might have been the closest thing to a Cinderella story among the 16 teams that entered the N.C.A.A. men's basketball tournament's second weekend. Fledgling through the end of the season, its plane bound for the Big Ten tournament skidded off the runway, spooking the team and causing light injuries. The Wolverines proceeded to tear through that tournament, winning it all. Ranked as high as fourth overall in the Associated Press poll this season, Oregon lost its top shot-blocker, senior Chris Boucher, to a season-ending knee injury in the Pacific-12 tournament. The Ducks now look to make just their second Final Four in program history - and their first since 1939, the very first Final Four of them all. Courtesy of: nytimes.com
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