TEMPE, Ariz. (ABC 4 Sports) - Jason Washburn finished with season-highs of 19 points and four blocks while also corralling a career-high 18 rebounds but it wasn't enough as Utah dropped its Pac-12 opener this evening at Arizona State in overtime, 55-54.
Jordan Loveridge added nine points, grabbed 11 rebounds and swiped three passes for the Utes (8-5, 0-1). Jarred DuBois was the only other player in double figures with 12. The senior tied for the team lead in assists with Cedric Martin, who was back in the rotation following an injury.
Utah struggled offensively, setting season lows for assists (10), field goal percentage (34.5), three-pointers (3-for-11), three-point field goal percentage (27.2) and total points (54).
The Utes did have their best free-throw shooting performance of the season, going 11-for-12 (91.7%) but their attempt total was the lowest this year. Also, the 10 turnovers committed by the Utes were a season-low and Utah won the rebounding battle for a fourth game in a row.
ASU was a +10 in the paint as Carrick Felix finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Sun Devils. Jordan Bachynski added 14 points and eight rebounds for the home side while freshman guard Jahii Carson ended with 15 points and four assists.
Trailing 4-0, Utah went on a 9-0 run behind buckets by DuBois and Washburn to take its first lead. A dunk by Dallin Bachynski against his brother would give the Runnin’ Utes their largest lead at 15-9 with 10:02 to play in the half.
ASU countered with a 14-2 run of its own as both teams led by as many as six in the first half. A dunk by Ruslan Pateev put the Sun Devils in front 23-17 with 3:21 showing on the clock but Utah scored seven of the final nine points of the period to go in the lockers down only one, 25-24.
Washburn had nine points and eight rebounds to lead the way as the Utes shot only 36 percent as a team. However, a +4 rebound margin and the ability to keep ASU off the line in the first half paid dividends for Utah.
The Utes finally took the lead once more in the second half with 6:22 to play when Washburn connected on a jumper that made the score, 42-41. The lead sat at three after two Loveridge free throws with 1:15 showing but Carson knocked down a three-pointer after an offensive rebound to tie the score and force overtime.
Utah's only lead in the extra period occurred when DuBois drilled a three-pointer to put it ahead 54-53 with 41 seconds to spare. However, it was Carson again for ASU, answering with a layup six seconds later.
Trailing by one, Utah had four cracks at scoring the winning basket but DuBois was blocked and Washburn, along with Loveridge, could not get the follow attempts to fall.
Utah has not won a road conference opener since 2005, a 74-49 victory at Wyoming. This was also the first overtime loss since Feb. 13, 2010, a 68-65 setback at New Mexico.
Utah next plays at 3rd-ranked Arizona Saturday afternoon at 3:00 p.m.