Jayhawks fall apart in second half in 95-85 loss to Arizona State
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Bobby Hurley is no stranger to college basketball lore. Wo when his Arizona State team traveled to Allen Fieldhouse to face Kansas on Sunday, the former Duke star knew what they were in for.
“No one really wins here,” Hurley said. “You come in here, most of the time you’re not leaving real happy.”
Well, the Sun Devils sure did. Tra Holder scored 29 points on 8-for-16 shooting, and No. 16 Arizona State upset No. 2 Kansas 95-85 on Sunday to improve to 9-0.
Shannon Evans II had 22 points, and Remy Martin added 21 for the Sun Devils. Arizona State shot 50 percent from 3-point range and 50.8 percent overall to hand Kansas (7-2) its second straight loss. The Jayhawks fell to unranked Washington on Wednesday night.
“I didn’t really have to coach a whole lot tonight,” Hurley said. “These guys sitting with me here deserve all the credit.”
After a slow start that forced Hurley to use a timeout less than two minutes into the game, the Sun Devils found themselves down by as much as 13 before making their first field goal. The energy in Allen Fieldhouse was as high as has been all season, as Hurley expected.
Arizona State got back into it, though, trimming the deficit to just three points at halftime and eventually outscoring the Jayhawks 58-42 in the second half. To get over this initial hump, the Sun Devils had to take a breath and tune out the raucous environment.
“The game slowed down for us,” Holder said. “At first it was really rapid, the crowd got into it.”
For Kansas, the difference was defense — or the lack thereof.
“It wasn’t our offense,” coach Bill Self said. “Hey, if you score 85 at home, you’re supposed to win.”
Lagerald Vick led Kansas with 25 points, his fifth time with 20 or more this season. Devonte’ Graham added 19 points and eight assists.
Svi Mykhailiuk had an off day, going 3 for 14 from the field and not registering any of his 14 points until he hit a 3-pointer with 6 minutes left. He had four turnovers and four fouls.
Kansas lost consecutive games for the first time since December 2013. Self will need to diagnose what went wrong in a hurry, with the start of conference play just three games away.
Arizona State picked up another marquee victory after knocking off No. 15 Xavier in late November. The Sun Devils are 9-0 for the first time since 1974-75 and look to be one of the top teams in the Pac-12.
Martin finished with 21 points on a 8-11 shooting and a perfect 2-for-2 from 3-point range. A true freshman, he didn’t seem to be intimidated by the Allen Fieldhouse crowd despite it being just his ninth career game.
“It was a tremendous thing for me to witness and be a part of,” Hurley said.
Kansas starting guard Malik Newman took a knee to the head late in the game, sending him to the floor for a couple minutes as he was evaluated by medical staff.
After the game, Self said that he was told Newman suffered a concussion, but that he didn’t know the severity or much of a concrete timetable for his recovery.
Kansas will tumble after the two losses. With another impressive win, Arizona State should continue its rise toward the top of the poll.
Kansas heads north to face former Big 12 rival Nebraska on Saturday.
Arizona State hosts Vanderbilt next Sunday.