Arizona State beats Colorado 63-62 in overtime

Arizona State beats Colorado 63-62 in overtime

Arizona State beats Colorado 63-62 in overtime

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by Arnie Stapleton, AP Sports Writer

azfamily.com

Posted on February 17, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Updated Sunday, Feb 17 at 9:52 AM

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) -- His players hurting not just emotionally but physically, Colorado coach Tad Boyle took a veiled swipe at the officiating crew that presided over the most physical game he'd ever been a part of.

"Welcome to college football! I thought football season was over in December, but I guess it's not," Boyle said after watching Evan Gordon's buzzer-beating layup lift Arizona State past Colorado 63-62 in overtime Saturday night in a game that looked more suited for the gridiron or even the ice rink or the boxing canvas rather than the hardwood.

"It was an unbelievably physical game, hard-fought game by both teams and Arizona State had the ball at the end and they made a big-time play and we didn't get a stop when we needed to," Boyle said. "But unbelievably physical basketball - the most physical basketball game I've ever been a part of in college, high school, YMCA, you name it."

The Buffaloes took a 62-61 lead with 8.3 seconds left on Spencer Dinwiddie's layup. The Sun Devils didn't call a timeout but pushed the ball up court. Askia Booker forced Jahii Carson, who led Arizona State with 18 points, to dish to Gordon, who didn't start but certainly finished.

"It just opened for him like the Red Sea and he got a great look at the basket," teammate Carrick Felix said.

Gordon saw Andre Roberson coming "to block my shot like he did earlier in the game, and I kind of made sure I gave it a little bit of air before he got to it and it fell in."

Everybody's eyes were on the basket as his shot rattled through the rim - except Gordon's.

"I just know my teammates jumped off the bench and came over and tackled me," he said. "I assumed it went in."

Booker said everyone was focused on denying Carson the shot that they lost Gordon.

The Sun Devils (19-7, 8-5), which came into town on Thursday to acclimate to the altitude, won for the first time in four tries in Boulder and swept the season series against the Buffs (17-8, 7-6), which got 24 points from Dinwiddie and 17 from Booker, who broke out of a shooting slump.

The Buffaloes lost center Josh Scott to a concussion four minutes into the second half when he got tangled with Jordan Bachynski, who elbowed Scott in the head, sending him crashing to the floor. Scott, however, was the one whistled for the foul.

Boyle said Scott blacked out and was diagnosed with a concussion. He'll be evaluated again Sunday. He gingerly left the Coors Events Center 45 minutes after the game.

"Just a lot of bumps and fighting down low," Booker said. "The big guys got into it a little bit."

The game was tied at 52 at the end of regulation following a furious rally by Colorado from a 54-48 deficit with 1:19 left. The Buffs tied the game on Xavier Johnson's dunk with 2.5 seconds remaining and Felix missed a potential game-winner at the buzzer for the Sun Devils.

"We felt we had momentum and everything was going our way," Johnson said.

The Sun Devils were equally confident.

"With extra time, it gives us another chance to settle down and focus and paly with poise and execute our offense," Gordon said.

The Buffs went ahead 60-59 on Roberson's jumper in overtime, but Carson's runner put the Sun Devils on top 61-60 and forced a timeout with 1:10 left.

Colorado wouldn't lead again, losing for just the sixth time in 48 home games under Boyle.

"He was actually pretty happy with us," Booker said. "Not the result but the fact that we fought throughout the whole game, we were able to come back and have the lead and we just didn't finish it out. We didn't get the stop when we needed it.

"But overall, he was happy with our fight."

So to speak.

The Sun Devils were one of just a-half dozen schools that had used the same starting lineup all season, but after losing five of nine they shook things up Saturday, starting senior guard Chris Colvin in place of Gordon. They wanted Gordon to provide points off the bench and he finished with 14.

The Buffs were coming off an emotional 71-58 thumping of No. 9 Arizona on Thursday, and the Coors Events Center was abuzz again. But with the officials making inconsistent calls and letting the teams get physical - Dinwiddie was blatantly held on a drive to the hoop at the end of regulation and no foul was called - neither team found an offensive rhythm.

"The referees definitely let us play this game," Felix said. "They officiated this game the way it was supposed to be, definitely a physical game, going both ways. It definitely was a hard fought battle all the way to the end."

Sun Devils coach Herb Sendek said he'd expected a scrappy game.

"That's how every game in this conference is being played right now. The Pac 12 is so good right now, everybody is scrapping and clawing," Sendek said. "It wasn't an easy game to referee by any stretch of the imagination, even though I know the crowd tried to help them."

Sendek was thrilled the game-winner came from the player whom he'd benched, too.

"I gave him a big hug and kiss," Sendek said. "It feels real good. The highs and lows. We go from a tough loss in Salt Lake, we've been on the road since Tuesday. Colorado goes from the jubilation of a great win on Thursday and a buzzer beater game tonight. College basketball is not for the faint of heart."

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Follow Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton

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