Ducks deal Devils first Pac-12 loss

Ducks deal Devils first Pac-12 loss

Arizona State suffered its first conference loss of the season on Sunday night, falling to Oregon 68-65 at Matthew Knight Court in a battle of Pac-12 unbeatens.

In a back and forth game between two of the surprise teams of the Pac-12 through the first two weeks of conference play, the Ducks outlasted the Sun Devils on Sunday night in Eugene as a desperation Carrick Felix heave at the buzzer fell short, sending the Ducks to their third consecutive conference win and 17th consecutive overall win on the home court.

Arizona State jumped ahead early, leading by as many as eight in the first half behind the hot shooting of guard Evan Gordon. The junior who had been mired in an offensive slump through the team's previous three games, scored 10 of his 17 points in the opening half, regaining his much needed shooting stroke while helping the Sun Devils keep pace with the Ducks. However, eight Arizona State turnovers, coupled with a 7-2 Oregon run to close the half put the Ducks ahead 32-28 at the break.

The Ducks would build up their largest lead of the game in the opening minutes of the second half, jumping ahead by seven before the Sun Devils slowly began to chip away. Jahii Carson, who led all scorers with 20 points, kept ASU within striking distance as he routinely exploited holes in the Oregon defense, both scoring in the paint and from deep. The freshman playmaker, who recorded his seventh 20 point game of the season, also added a career-high seven rebounds and four assists.

Following a Sun Devil timeout, a Carrick Felix three pointer with 2:09 appeared to finally put the Sun Devils over the hump and in position to steal a win. However, following a Tony Woods dunk on their next possession, the Ducks would sink seven consecutive free throws down the stretch to keep the Sun Devils at bay.

Leading by three and with a chance to ice the game, Oregon's E.J. Singler missed the team's only free throw attempt of the game with five seconds remaining, providing Arizona State with one last chance to try forcing overtime. Without any timeouts though, the Sun Devils were forced to advance the ball on the miss as Jonathan Gilling found an open Carrick Felix streaking up the sideline. Felix's attempt would miss wide, sending the Sun Devils to their first conference defeat.

Felix finished with 12 points and 6 rebounds. Jordan Bachynski added 8 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocks in the loss. The Sun Devils shot 47 percent from the field but were undone by their 12 turnovers and free throw shooting once more. ASU made only 5 of their 9 free throw attempts while the Ducks converted 14 of 15.

Arizona State returns home next weekend when it hosts rival Arizona on Sunday at 12:30 pm. It will be the first of three crucial home games for the Sun Devils, as USC and UCLA visit the following week. ASU's contest with Arizona is sold out, however standing room tickets are still available.

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