USC lets opportunity, Arizona State slip away late


In a Pac-12 showdown with plenty on the line for both teams, Tra Holder hit a game-winning floater with 1.4 seconds remaining to lift Arizona State over USC.

The loss denied the Trojans a chance to tie Arizona atop the Pac-12 standings. USC now sits at 17-8 overall and 8-4 in the conference, just a single game behind the Wildcats. Meanwhile, Arizona State moved to 18-6 overall and 6-6 in the league.

3 Who Mattered

Tra Holder: In addition to hitting the game-winning shot, Holder led all scorers on the night with 22 points on 6-of-15 shooting from the field. While not blisteringly efficient from the floor, Holder hedged that by going 9-of-12 from the foul line.

Nick Rakocevic: In 24 minutes of action, he led USC with 19 points on a perfect 6-of-6 shooting night from the floor. The sophomore forward also added 7 rebounds, a steal and a rebound to his tally.

Shannon Evans II: Just a point behind Holder’s pace, Evans II dropped 21 points for the Sun Devils.

Observations

USC totally blew it: According to ESPN, with 3:39 left in the game following an offensive rebound from Chimezie Metu and USC leading 75-68, USC had a 92.8% chance to win the game. Instead, Arizona State stormed back and finished the game on a 12-3 run capped by Holder’s game winner.

Too many turnovers for the Trojans: USC simply couldn’t maintain control of the ball against Arizona State, losing the turnover battle 18-6(!). A wise man once said that ball security is job security. Well, the Trojans’ problems with ball security cost themselves a promotion to first place in the Pac-12.

As Tra Holder goes, so does Arizona State: Over Arizona State’s last 4 games, Holder has scored 20 or more points 3 times. The Sun Devils’ lone loss in that stretch is the only time he failed to do so — a Feb. 1 loss to Washington. The Sun Devils seem to be course-correcting after a rough start to Pac-12 play, and it’s been Holder to lead the way in that effort.

Turning Point

With 51 seconds left to play, Evans II buried a game-tying 3-pointer to put the game at 78-78. Holder’s game-winner were the last points of the game, but it was Evans II that completed a wild comeback for Arizona State.

What’s Next for USC, Arizona State

USC gets an immediate second chance to climb into first place in the Pac-12 as they travel to Arizona on Saturday, while Arizona State faces UCLA at home the same day.

The post USC lets opportunity, Arizona State slip away late appeared first on Diehards.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Ohio State women’s basketball tops Penn State to win second-consecutive Big Ten title
Ohio State women’s basketball tops Penn State to win second-consecutive Big Ten title

Miami football staffer: Mark Pope the best WR in class of 2018
Miami football staffer: Mark Pope the best WR in class of 2018

Miami incoming freshman Mark Pope is the No. 11 receiver and No. 67 overall player in the class of 2018, according to 247 Sports. But Hurricanes director of player personnel Matt Doherty thinks he has a much higher ceiling than the rankings indicate. “I think Mark Pope is the best wide receiver in the country,” ...
Shea Patterson has ‘great case,’ legal experts say, to play for Michigan in 2018
Shea Patterson has ‘great case,’ legal experts say, to play for Michigan in 2018

Iowa State WR Allen Lazard set to raise support for pancreatic cancer awareness at NFL Combine
Iowa State WR Allen Lazard set to raise support for pancreatic cancer awareness at NFL Combine

Iowa State wide receiver Allen Lazard is the only Cyclone set to participate in the NFL Combine — which will begin on Tuesday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind. And the all-time leader in Iowa State receiving yards will be using his platform for a good cause. Lazard told the Des Moines Register’s Tommy Birch...
Kentucky football linebackers preview: Return of trio of seniors big boost for 2018
Kentucky football linebackers preview: Return of trio of seniors big boost for 2018

SEC Country is taking an early position-by-position look at Kentucky’s roster for 2018. A new position preview will publish every Sunday leading up to the start of spring football. Up next: Linebackers.  Newcomers: 4-star Chris Oats, 3-star Ashtan Pierre, 3-star DeAndre Square ...
More Stories