No. 17 Arizona holds off No. 25 Arizona State for 77-70 win
9:41 PM, Feb 15, 2018
TEMPE, Ariz - Deandre Ayton had 25 points and 16 rebounds, and No. 17 Arizona held off No. 25 Arizona State 77-70 on Thursday night to sweep the season series.
Arizona (21-6, 11-3 Pac-12) started fast, quieting a raucous crowd at Wells Fargo Arena by playing well at both ends while building an 18-point lead.
The Sun Devils (19-7, 7-7) revved up their run game and the fans after finding their groove, going on a 31-6 halftime-spanning run to go up seven. Arizona clawed its way back and the rivals traded baskets until the Wildcats scored seven straight points to go up 70-63 with 90 seconds left.
Allonzo Trier added 19 points for Arizona.
Tra Holder had 20 points and Kodi Justice 19 for Arizona State.
The first meeting, Dec. 30 in Tucson, was one of the most anticipated in the rivalry's 105-year history.
Arizona State was the talk of college basketball and Division I's lone undefeated team headed into that game after going 12-0 in nonconference.
Arizona had rebounded from a dismal trip to the Bahamas and was playing well.
The game lived up to the hype, going down the wire after the Sun Devils rallied from a 12-point deficit. Arizona took advantage of its size advantage inside and made the plays down the stretch to win it 84-78.
The sequel rocked - almost literally.
The Arizona State fans were ready, filling Wells Fargo Arena to the rafters and with roars after Michael Buffer introduced the Sun Devils' starting lineup.
The Wildcats were ready for them, opening on an 11-2 run and making 10 of their first 12 shots to build a 28-11 lead.
Arizona State snapped out of its offensive doldrums and slowed Arizona with full-court pressure. The Sun Devils went on a 16-2 run - started by Justice's three straight 3s - to cut Arizona's lead to pull within four and cut it to 39-38 by halftime.
Arizona State took its first lead on a corner 3-pointer to open the second half and the Sun Devils scored the first eight points to go up 46-39 as the decibel level rose with each shot.
Arizona fought back and finished off the Sun Devils, just as it did in Tucson.
Arizona State made inroads against its rival this season, but still can't find a way to beat them.
Arizona played a superb game against Southern California after losing to UCLA last week and could have some momentum going after pulling out a win in a rowdy road atmosphere.