TEMPE, Ariz. (ABC4 Sports) – The University of Utah men’s basketball team just can’t seem to catch a break these days.
Jalen Graham scored six of Arizona State’s final nine points and the Sun Devils beat Utah 64-62 on Monday for the Utes’ sixth straight loss.
Graham made a hook shot in the lane with 56 seconds left to give Arizona State a 62-60 lead. After Utah called a timeout with 36.8 left, David Jenkins Jr. beat the shot-clock buzzer with a jumper near the free-throw line after getting his defender in the air.
Graham scored again in the lane, off a nice pass from Marreon Jackson, with 4.6 seconds left and Jenkins was stripped of the ball by Jay Heath at the buzzer.
Kimani Lawrence scored a game-high 18 points for Arizona State (6-9, 2/3 Pac-12), which was playing its third game in 28 days — and its second in 15. DJ Horne added 13 points and Graham finished with 10.
Graham was coming off a career-high 16 points, in 19 minutes, in a loss to Colorado.
Jenkins scored 14 points for Utah (8-10, 1-7). Rollie Worster added 13 points and Dusan Mahorcic had 12 points and eight rebounds. The Utes were 17 of 20 from the free-throw line while Arizona State shot 3 for 12, but Utah lost the turnover battle 14-8.
Utah jumped out to an early 7-4 lead at the first media timeout after Marco Anthony’s 3-pointer was sandwiched by buckets from Riley Battin and Rollie Worster. Dusan Mahorcic made it a 9-4 lead after backing down his man on the near block before Arizona State closed within 11-10 with 11:53 left in the first frame.
The Utes finally put an end to the ASU’s 8-0 run thanks to a nice turnaround jumper from Worster before Lazar Stefanovic drained a three on the next possession. That lead, however, was short-lived as the Sun Devils answered with a quick 5-0 spurt that forced a Utah timeout with 5:43 left in the half down 22-18.
Utah headed into the locker room with a 28-26 lead courtesy of a David Jenkins Jr. 3-pointer at the buzzer to close out the final 3:11 of the half on 7-1 run.
Both teams exchanged baskets to start the half before an 8-0 run by the Sun Devils (6-9, 2-3 Pac-12) forced yet another Utah timeout (13:39) down 39-33. The Utes began to be more aggressive and slowly picked away at the ASU lead. Both Gach got the Runnin’ Utes within 47-46 after completing the and-1 opportunity and cap off Utah’s 9-4 run out of the 7:48 media timeout.
A back-and-forth battle then ensued between the two teams with the lead changing six different times on top of four ties. Following Worster’s corner three, ASU tied things up at 53-53 on the next possession before Jenkins Jr. gave the Utes a 56-63 edge when he banked in a straightaway triple before the 3:46 media break.
The final three minutes came down to execution after the media break with Utah going just 2-of-5 from the field while Arizona State went 5-of-6 – including the game winner from Graham.
Utah returns home next week to entertain a pair of top-25 ranked opponents in #9 UCLA and #16 USC.