TUCSON, AZ – Playing in their final home game in 2022-23 at McKale, No. 7 Arizona Basketball (24-5, 13-5) fell to rival Arizona State (20-9, 11-7) on a buzzer-beater.
After having a week off, No. 7 Arizona Basketball was back in action playing in their final game in McKale for the 2022-23 season against Arizona State.
Coming in, the Wildcats were taking on a talented but inconsistent Sun Devils team, and even though the Wildcats were the favorite in this one, they couldn’t overlook a hungry and prepared ASU team.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. Despite the week off, Arizona gave a porous defensive effort as they surrendered 89 points and allowed ASU to shoot 53.7 percent from the field including 39.3 percent from three.
Granted, Arizona scored 88 points and shot 50.9 from the field and 42.3 percent from three, all led behind Seniors Cedric Henderson, Jr.’s 19 points and Courtney Ramey’s 14 points, but it wasn’t enough as the Wildcats fell 89-88 at home.
Despite No. 7 Arizona Basketball leading 78-68 with 6:30 to play, the Wildcats allowed ASU to close out on a 21-10 run to lose to the Sun Devils.
It was Senior Day, Arizona hadn’t lost at home to ASU since 1995 as a ranked team, but that all didn’t matter in this one.
From the tip, it was clear Arizona wasn’t mentally or physically ready. ASU, looking for its first, signature win on the 2022-23 season came out strong as they opened the game on an 8-4 run.
Luckily, the Wildcats’ offense would begin to show some life, responding with a 17-9 run to lead 21-17 with 11:32 to play in the first half. Unfortunately, for every Arizona run, ASU had an answer.
Allowing the Sun Devils to do what it wanted offensively, ASU hung tough the first half, even ending the half on a 9-5 run to lead 46-45 at halftime. Luckily, Henderson’s three at the horn cut ASU’s lead to just one.
Hoping to find its focus in the second half, the Wildcat and Sun Devils offense would trade buckets for much of the half as led 59-57 with 14:08 to play.
Arizona would begin to find its rhythm, responding with a 19-11 run to expand its lead to 78-68 with 6:30 to play, its largest of the day, but that was the only positive in this one.
Unfortunately, Arizona’s offense would then go stagnant, allowing the Sun Devils to close out the game on a 21-10 run.
Arizona would have an opportunity to seal the game with Oumar Ballo at the line, but after missing his first free throw and sinking the second shot, roughly two seconds was all ASU needed to fire off an uncontested half-court shot to beat the buzzer and sink the No. 7 Wildcats at home.
With the loss, the Wildcats fall to 24-5 (13-5) on the season and will resume basketball action next week when they take on USC and UCLA in Los Angeles. Tip-off against the Trojans on Thursday is set for 9:00 PM MST!