Oregon State’s second-half surge, with the Beavers trying to avoid a 0-3 road trip, came up just a little short.
OSU rallied from 11 points down in the second half at Arizona State to tie the game twice in the closing minutes Sunday but couldn’t produce the go-ahead basket.
In the end, it was two free throws by Holland Woods with 5.3 seconds left that iced the game for the Sun Devils as they claimed a 75-73 win in a Pac-12 men’s basketball game at Desert Financial Arena in Tempe.
Oregon State’s Tariq Silver made two free throws with 0.1 seconds remaining to close out the scoring.
The Beavers (10-10, 6-8) gave up the game’s first nine points, trailed by 15 in the first half and never led.
“This is something that we should have learned long ago. You can’t dig that big a hole for yourselves,” OSU coach Wayne Tinkle said in a postgame radio interview.
Ethan Thompson had 18 points, four rebounds and four assists and Jarod Lucas 15 points and five rebounds for the Beavers, who lost games at Colorado and Arizona before heading to Tempe.
Roman Silva added nine points, Rodrigue Andela eight points and five rebounds and Gianni Hunt eight points.
Remy Martin had 23 points and four assists for the Sun Devils (7-9, 4-6), who were playing without two starters due to injury.
OSU’s second-half comeback was the product of better screens and passes and getting the ball into the post, Tinkle said.
“When we play that way offensively and we’re united, and we’re connected, we’re the same on the defensive end,” the coach said.
Oregon State quickly chipped away at a 10-point halftime deficit, as Lucas hit two straight 3s and added a free throw to make it a five-point game.
Woods then scored five straight, including his own 3-pointer, to push it back to double digits.
Lucas would later add another deep ball, his fourth of the game, with 14:57 left to cut it to seven.
The Beavers would get no closer than seven for another five-plus minutes until a 6-0 run got them within four. Andela and Thompson both scored inside and Maurice Calloo found Andela for a dunk off an inbounds pass to make it 62-58 ASU with 8:24 left.
OSU got within three on Warith Alatishe’s putback and later had it at two on Alatishe’s layin with 2:50 to go. Alatishe then tied it on a floater with 2:02 remaining. He finished with six points, 10 rebounds and four assists.
Thompson tied it again at 68-all on a free-throw line jumper with 1:07 remaining.
But Martin’s straight-away 3-pointer with 38 seconds left would put Arizona State ahead for good. The senior guard was a combined 7 of 30 overall and 0 for 14 on 3-pointers against Oregon State this season before that shot went down.
Thompson then found Andela for a dunk before Martin made two free throws. Thompson was fouled and hit 1 of 2 at the line. Andela rebounded the miss on the second attempt and got it to Thompson, who lost the ball. After a scramble, possession went back to the Sun Devils on a jump ball with 6.2 left, setting up Woods’ free throws.
“We weren’t able to get it done, but we’re going to learn from this week and stay together,” Tinkle said.
The Beavers outshot an opponent from the floor for the fourth time in six games but also saw its opponent shoot 10 or more free throws for the second straight game and the fourth time in Pac-12 play.
OSU was 25 of 57 overall, 7 of 19 on 3-pointers and 16 of 22 at the foul line. ASU was 23 of 54, 4 of 15 and 25 of 34, respectively.
Oregon State shot 6 of 9 from the floor in the final six minutes, while Arizona State was 3 of 8 over the final 10 minutes.
A slow offensive start and 11 turnovers that the Sun Devils turned into 21 points had the Beavers down 10 points at halftime.
Arizona State jumped out to a 9-0 lead as Oregon State missed its first eight shots.
The Beavers did make four of their next five attempts to keep the Sun Devils, who started 9 of 14, from running away with it.
ASU pushed its lead to 14 before OSU found some offensive traction between turnovers.
Alatishe rebounded a missed Thompson free throw then got it back to Thompson for a layin.
That started a stretch in which the Beavers made 6 of 7 shots. Hunt’s second 3-pointer of the game, closed the gap to 32-28 with 2:47 left in the half.
But the Sun Devils closed the half on a 9-3 run, with four points coming off steals and the rest at the foul line. ASU had seven steals in the half.
Jesse Sowa can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @JesseSowaGT.