Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 2/25/12
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona State made one basket and one free throw down the stretch Saturday. That made ASU the team with the hot hand. That little burst was plenty, as it turned out. Chris Colvins acrobatic driving shot with 19.4 seconds remaining was the only basket by either team in the final 7:45, and his free throw to complete the three-point play helped the Sun Devils to a 56-52 Pac-12 victory over Southern California at Wells Fargo Arena. "Just trying to throw something at the rim and hope it went in," Colvin said. The Sun Devils (9-20, 5-12) swept the season series for the first time since the 1994-95 season. USC could not get anything to fall when it mattered, missing its final 12 field-goal attempts while getting only a free throw from leading scoring Byron Wesley (22 points) with 6:15 remaining and another from Greg Allen with 5:41 left to close ASUs lead to one point at 53-52. Wesleys field goal with 11:16 left gave the Trojans a 47-45 lead, but it was their last make. Eight of their misses down the stretch were on 3-point attempts. "We had a bunch of open shots and they didnt go down, USC coach Kevin ONeill said. "Thats been the story of our year. We dont shoot the ball well. "We gave ourselves a chance. We just didnt get it done." At the same time, Trent Locketts follow shot with 7:45 remaining was ASUs last score until Colvins three-point play. USC (6-23, 1-15) had five possessions in which it trailed by a point but could not score; ASU had eight possessions on which it could not build its lead. "The key to the game was our defense. That certainly was the difference," ASU coach Herb Sendek said. "We reminded them of some certain keys. The other part of it was SC missed some shots, too. Its not like it was entirely us, but it was overall a good defensive effort down the stretch. Added center Jordan Bachynski, "Thats everybody coming together and keeping our defense tight and just working hard. We might have missed rotations, but because we were working so hard and playing together, we were able to make up for him." ASU concentrated on getting the ball inside for most of the game, and the plan worked against a USC team that has lost starting power forward Aaron Fuller and 7-foot center Dewayne Dedmon for the season because of injuries. Bachynski had 19 points and nine rebounds, one rebound short of his second career double-double, and backup post player Rulan Pateev had six points and three rebounds. The two were 8 of 14 from the field and 9 of 14 from the free-throw line. When Bacyhnski and Pateev were not scoring from 2 feet, they were fouled trying. "Thats solely on our guards. They played amazing," said Bachynski, who also had two blocks. "Our forwards and guards really took advantage of that. Anyone could have scored with the passes that were given to me. They placed the ball in the perfect spot where I was able to be effective." Colvin had eight points and five assists in 38 minutes, with most of his assists coming on dump-downs into the low post against USCs man-to-man defense. Chanse Creekmur picked up four assists by going inside, and he also had a career-high six rebounds. "Chris has an amazing court vision," Bachynski said. "When he drives the ball, he does a good job of seeing who is open and distributing the ball to the right guy." ASU shot 46 percent and, thanks to its height advantage, held a 36-20 rebounding edge. USC, which entered the game as the worst-shooting Pac-12 team on 2-point attempts, 3-point attempts and free-throw attempts, shot 39.6 percent from the field. Arizona State will close the regular season against Arizona on March 4 and probably will need to win that game to move out of the No. 10 seed in the Pac-12 tournament, which starts March 7. The Devils would win a tiebreaker Oregon State (5-10 in the Pac-12) because they won the only meeting, but the Beavers have three home games remaining, including one against Utah.
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