ASU falters in second half in loss to Oregon

BY foxsports • January 12, 2012

TEMPE, Ariz. –- Trent Lockett carried about as much of a load as could be hoped, more than could be expected, in his first home game at point guard.

With 23 points, four rebounds and five assists, Lockett kept Arizona State in its 67-58 Pac-12 loss to Oregon on Thursday.

For the second game in a row, however, the Sun Devils (5-11, 1-3) ran out of steam in the second half. After taking a 47-43 lead on two Lockett free throws with 15:22 remaining ASU scored on only seven of its final 23 possessions.

It made only three field goals in that stretch: a short left-handed bank shot by Ruslan Pateev, a 3-pointer by Carrick Felix off a feed from Lockett and a Lockett post-up. The only other points came on five free throws by Lockett and one by Kyle Cain in his return from a two-game suspension.

The Sun Devils also committed seven of their 16 turnovers and were outscored 24-11. Cain’s free throw cut Oregon’s lead to two, 55-53, with 8:06 remaining, but the Ducks scored the next five points and led by at least four the rest of the way.

“Coming down the second half, fatigue kind of got us. We’re in great shape. These is no excuse for that,” said Lockett, who tied his season high with 23 points.

Lockett played all but 30 seconds, removed midway through the first half but reinserted shortly thereafter follwing a defensive lapse and a turnover by replacement Chris Colvin, also returning from a two-game suspension.

ASU, thinner after nominal point guard Keala King was dismissed from the team Sunday, used only eight players. One of those went seven minutes. One went one.

“There were key spots and possessions in the second half, on both ends of the floor, where we let fatigue get the best of it,” ASU coach Herb Sendek said.

Sendek identified a follow slam by Oregon forward E.J. Singler, who picked up an offensive rebound near the free-throw line and took the ball right to the basket for the last of his 11 points to give Oregon a 62-55 lead with 4:50 remaining.

Lockett’s three free throws brought it to 62-58 with 3:24 left, but ASU had two turnovers and missed two contested shots as the Ducks (12-5, 3-2) pulled away for their second conference road victory of the season.

Devoe Joseph had 15 points, Tony Woods had 12 and Garrett Sim had 10 for Oregon, which shot 53 percent from the floor. ASU shot 51 percent, including 6 of 14 from three-point range, and had a 27-21 rebounding edge, but once again had more turnovers (16-8).

“Clearly, our defense didn’t give us a good enough chance to win,” Sendek said. “Our 16 turnovers are amplified by the fact that we are not forcing a lot. It’s no different than it has been for the majority of the season. When you take away our turnovers, we’re not dealing with a lot of opportunities. We are playing possession basketball. The turnovers almost screech so loudly that it is difficult to hear other things.”

Sendek put a big question mark on the white board in the ASU locker room, asking for more from his defense.

Carrick Felix had 11 points for ASU, which was extremely efficient when it held onto the ball. The Sun Devils had 15 assists on their 21 baskets, two assists short of their season high. Freshman Jonathan Gilling, making his third straight start, had five assists, and Ruslan Pateev had nine points, six rebounds and three assists. Pateev only got four shot attempts.

Lockett, 6-foot-5, made all six of his field-goal attempts in the first half and hit a driving left-handed layup during the stretch when ASU made its first four-field goal attempts in the second half, but Oregon slowed him some when 5-foot-8 sophomore Johnathan Loyd took over the defensive assignment in the second half.

“I just tried to use my quickness and get under him and make it tough dribbling up the court when he was playing the one," Loyd said. “He went 6 for 6 in the first half, and at halftime, Coach said we need somebody who can stop him.

“I told him I could do it.”

Lockett got his late free throws when he posted up Loyd and was fouled, but Loyd stripped the ball as Lockett rose to attempt a 3-pointer in the final 30 seconds, although Oregon was in control at that point with a 65-58 lead. Lockett had seven turnovers and Felix had four.

ASU, playing its first home game since a last-second loss to Fresno State on Dec. 21, lost for the sixth time in seven games and fell to 2-7 at home.

“We have to take care of games at home -- that’s the big thing,” Lockett said.

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