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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Marshall leads ASU to upset after watching UA win in Tucson

Rebecca Marie Sasnett/ The Daily Wildcat
Rebecca Marie Sasnett/ Daily Wildcat

TEMPE, Ariz.— All No. 2 Arizona could do was watch.

Watch their slim lead slip from its hands as ASU senior Jermaine Marshall took it from them.

Marshall made two contested 3-pointers and a layup in the final two minutes of the second overtime period to help the Sun Devils capture a 69-66 victory at Wells Fargo Arena.

“Jermaine Marshall did an outstanding job,” said Arizona head coach Sean Miller in a brief press conference after the loss.

Marshall led his team all night in scoring, finishing the game with 29 points. But he wasn’t given the chance to win the game until the second overtime.

At the end of regulation it was ASU (19-6, 8-4) point guard Jahii Carson who was asked to win the game but came up short despite Arizona (23-2, 10-2 Pac-12) shooting bellow 40 percent all night.

At the end of the first overtime period it was once again the sporadic Carson who failed to make the key baskets.

So with fewer two minutes left in the second overtime, Marshall took charge and made three of the Sun Devils’ final four baskets. Two from beyond the arc and one game clinching layup with 14 seconds left.

The Wildcat who had the best view of Marshall’s take over was the man guarding him, Arizona freshman Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.

“Rondae did a fabulous job until the end,” Miller said.

Hollis-Jefferson was in Marshall’s face on the two 3-pointers but couldn’t affect the fifth year senior enough to get him to miss. And then on the final play, Marshall, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard, blew past an anticipating Hollis-Jefferson at the 3-point line to clear an easy lane for a layup.

Miller said there wasn’t a breakdown on defense on those two 3-pointers.

“He made two great shots,” Miller said.

Friday’s win was Marshall’s comeback. Not in the sense that his Sun Devils had to fight back in the dwindling minutes to pull off the upset. But for Marshall he was the one who watched on the bench, out with an injury, as ASU was ran over by the then No. 1 Wildcats 91-68 on Jan. 16 at McKale Center.

“The thing that’s tough about Marshall is that he can not only score from beyond the arc he can also score inside,” Miller said. “To me he’s a first team All-Conference player, I’ll certainty vote for him.”

While Marshall won the game, Carson and Arizona’s Nick Johnson were the ringleaders of Friday’s low scoring circus.

Arizona shot 11-for-30 in the first half and scored just 26 points. Johnson kept his team from having its worst first half performance of the season by scoring nine points and limiting Carson to just two.

However, in the second half the script switched. Carson scored nine points and Johnson missed seven of his nine-second half shots.

The story of the game, though, was turnovers. Arizona finished the game with 15 and ASU scored 18 points off them. The Wildcats’ ‘pass first’ point guard T.J. McConnell had six turnovers and two lonely assists, both coming in the first half.

The sloppy play by Arizona served the Sun Devils the win. But it wasn’t until Marshall finally stole the show that he and his ASU teammates could climb the backs of jubilant ASU students who had rushed the court following the win. And during that time, watch the Wildcats sit on the bench trying to figure out what happened.

“Someone has to win and someone has to lose and unfortunately we’re the loser,” Miller said. “Those six turnovers really hurt us.”

— Follow Luke Della @LukeDella

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