LOS ANGELES – The Sun Devil men's basketball team led or was tied with Pac-12 co-leader UCLA for all but one second of its game against the Bruins on Saturday night. Unfortunately for the Sun Devils, that one second was the final one of the game as UCLA's Jaylen Clark scored his only point of the game on a free throw with 1.4 seconds remaining to lift the Bruins over the Sun Devils, 80-79.
Senior guards Remy Martin and Alonzo Verge Jr. led the way for the Sun Devils (7-11, 4-8 Pac-12), scoring 25 and 18 points, respectively. Senior forward Kimani Lawrence had his best game of the season, scoring 18 points and grabbing nine rebounds.
UCLA (16-5, 12-3) was led by Cody Riley who scored 17 points.
ASU had one of its best performances of the season from beyond the arc, knocking down 10-of-20 three-pointers. The Sun Devils also took care of the ball, dishing out 13 assists with only five turnovers.
"I thought we played a winning game," ASU head coach Bobby Hurley said. "I thought we played really well through the majority of the game. We just didn't make one more play that was necessary in order to win, whether that was defensive rebounds or someone hitting a shot, it just didn't work out. As the game wound down, we just made too many mistakes in the last two minutes of the game."
The short-handed Sun Devils were without freshman stars Josh Christopher and Marcus Bagley, who were both out with injuries. Starting sophomore forward Jalen Graham spent the entire game in foul trouble, and Hurley believes it was one of the factors that cost the Sun Devils the game.
"We did some nice things," Hurley said. "Remy had a really good first half and Alonzo Verge was better on offense. Kimani was really good in the second half making free throws and being active. We had a number of guys who performed well. We [also got into] foul trouble. I don't know how many minutes [Jalen Graham] played, but I don't think he got double figure minutes tonight and we need him on the floor. I thought Chris [Osten] did a very serviceable job through his time out there and John [Olmsted] came in and did what he could at the end."
The Sun Devils jumped out to a 12-2 lead on the road and led for nearly the whole game until a Bruin free throw tied the game with 38 seconds remaining. Sun Devil senior guard Holland Woods missed a 3-pointer and Clark was fouled with just 1.4 seconds left. He missed the first free throw but made the second. Verge's half-court attempt to win the game at the buzzer was too strong denying ASU's upset bid.
The Sun Devils return to Tempe to host Washington on Tuesday (7 p.m. MST/Pac-12 Networks and 98.7 FM) and Thursday (5 p.m. MST/FS1 and ESPN 620 AM).