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Devils Lose A Close One To Oregon Despite Inspired Effort

Arizona State showed a lot of positive signs in their first home game of the post-Keala King era but ultimately couldn't execute in the final minutes falling 67-58 to the Oregon Ducks. Trent Lockett lead all scorers with 23 points but committed seven turnovers as he still attempts to learn the point guard position on the job. Those seven turnovers compiled with another nine from the rest of the team (16 total) were too much to overcome as the visiting Ducks scored 21 points off those mistakes.

It seemed like both teams were going to be pushing the century mark with the game tied at 11 before three minutes ticked off the clock. The Ducks then went on a 13-2 run that was sparked by the visitors giving the Devils handful of different defensive looks over an eight minute period. With the game already slipping through their fingers before the second act, ASU rallied late showing some reinvigorated play thanks much in part to some great decision-making by Lockett.

Coming out of the locker room down 37-35, the Devils were able to extend their lead to as much as four thanks to some big shots from Ruslan Pateev and Chanse Creekmur before the team began to run out of steam on the offensive end due largely to a short bench and Oregon's suffocating defense. Arizona State managed to hang around to the final three minutes but a back court violation followed by a few forced shots proved to be too costly and the Devils could never narrow the deficit.

Although Lockett and Felix's fatigue showed down the stretch (78 minutes total), Head Coach Herb Sendek didn't have much possibilities for relief with the shrinking bench only totaling seven points in this one. The Ducks also seemed to game plan for the surging Jonathan Gilling holding him to just three points (1-5 shooting) but he still managed to make an impact, tying Lockett for the team lead in assists with five.

The Devils will have one day off before Oregon State rolls into town at 6 p.m. on Saturday. Hopefully the starters will be able to shake off those big minute totals they logged tonight or the Devils might have to wait yet another game for their second conference win.