Arizona State came into their game with Oregon State riding a six game winning streak. When the Sun Devils left the Desert Financial Arena they were winners of seven straight games after their 74-73 win over Oregon State.
The seven game win streak for the Sun Devils represents their longest conference win streak since the 1980-1981 season.
The Sun Devils are the hottest team in the Pac-12 Conference right now. The conference tournament is right around the corner, so this is the best time of the season to be hot. Post season tournaments are about having momentum and confidence. The Sun Devils have plenty of that right now.
Arizona State goes to Los Angeles to play USC and UCLA this week. The Sun Devils finish out conference play with the Washington schools.
If Arizona State wins out the rest of their games they will go to the Pac-12 Conference Basketball Tournament on an 11 game win streak and confidence that will be sky high.
However, before then the Sun Devils have to take care of business and be ready to play against their remaining opponents.
On Saturday night, Arizona State just about let a game get away from them.
Oregon State came into Tempe on a rollercoaster of a season. This was supposed to be a season that the Beavers were going to contend for a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Instead this season has been the textbook definition of inconsistency.
Oregon State lost to Arizona on Thursday night by 26, so you would think that the Beavers would come with a better effort against the Sun Devils.
The Beavers came with a stronger effort, but in the end the Beavers left the state of Arizona getting swept.
Arizona State came out with a surge of energy on the defensive end that helped the Devils to get out to a 10-5 lead early in the first half. It was evident that the Beavers were not matching the focus and intensity level of ASU. The Sun Devils were trying to make life tough on Oregon State, but the Beavers never let Arizona State get to far out in front. Oregon State kept hanging around.
The more you let a team feel like they could win the game the more confidence that team will show.
That is exactly what happened with the Beavers. Going into halftime Oregon State was leading 40-37.
Sun Devil center, Romello White, started the second half by scoring six points. White is important to what Arizona State likes to do. When the offense goes through Romello White it tends to work out really well for the Sun Devils.
“I loved the way Romello started the second half, just to start getting the ball inside and getting some points in the paint was good.” Bobby Hurley said.
During the second half there were plenty of lead changes. The momentum was constantly swinging back and forth. The crowd of 9,688 were fully engaged in what was happening.
With 5:15 left in the game, the Sun Devils had a 72-67 lead. The Beavers were having trouble scoring the ball. It appeared that Oregon State had finally run out of gas.
The Beavers kept battling. ASU let the Beavers cut the lead to one with 1:25 left. Possessions went back and forth with nobody seeming to want to close the game out. With 21.7 seconds left the Beavers had the chance to win the game and ruin the ASU win streak.
Oregon State could not complete the upset. The ball did not drop for the Beavers and the Sun Devils walked off the court with possession of first place in the Pac-12 and a 74-73 win.
“We have not peaked yet. That’s a good feeling this time of year.” Coach Hurley said.
Yes, it is Coach Hurley.