MBK: Gauchos let Arizona State off hook

TEMPE, Ariz. – Eric Jacobsen’s put-back with one second remaining completed a 7-0 game-ending run as Arizona State edged visiting UC Santa Barbara 70-68 on Sunday afternoon.

The Gauchos (2-3) led the Sun Devils (4-2) for most of the game, falling behind for just a short period of time in each half, but were unable to hold on despite playing one of their best games of the season.


“I take away a lot of positives from today,” said head coach Bob Williams. “In the end you want to win, but we did a lot of things well. Would I like to have the last few minutes back? Of course, but I thought we did a lot of very good things today.”

Leading 64-63 with just over two minutes to play UCSB got back-to-back lay-ups from Sam Beeler, both on beautiful passes from John Green, to take a 68-63 advantage with 1:31 remaining in the game.

Jacobsen made a pair of free throws with 1:10 to play after getting fouled on a rebound to make the score 68-65. Following a Gaucho turnover, Andre Spight hit a three-pointer to tie the score at 68 with 34 seconds on the clock.

Following a timeout UCSB got the ball in hands of Michael Bryson on the left side of the key. When he was double-teamed, he found Eric Childress open near the free throw line. Childress drove the center of the key and launched a floater that was blocked by Jacobsen with 11 seconds left.

On its final possession, ASU went to Kodi Justice who missed a 15-foot jumper. Jacobsen got the rebound and scored the game-winner with one second to play. The Gauchos final attempt, a half court shot by Gabe Vincent went off the top of the backboard.

Bryson finished with a game-high 23 points to go along with five rebounds and a career-high six assists for the Gauchos. Vincent and Beeler had 12 points apiece. Childress had his best game of the season with nine points, seven rebounds, six assists, two steals and a blocked shot. Green added a career-high five assists.

“We had a lot of guys do good things,” Williams said. “Eric had his best game. I thought he had a really good all-around game and that’s another reason to be optimistic. As a team, when you have 21 assists on 26 baskets you’re moving the ball well and getting good looks. Eric had a lot to do with that.”

Savon Goodman led the Sun Devils with 14 points. Jacobsen added 10 points and eight rebounds, and Spight had 11 points.

UCSB had its best shooting game of the season as it hit 26-of-52 attempts overall, 50.0%. 8-of-16 from three-point range, 50.0%, and a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line. Meanwhile, ASU was held to 20-of-59 overall, 33.9%, 7-of-25 from three-point range, 28.0%, and 23-of-26 from the free throw line, 88.5%.

The Gauchos return home to host USC on Thursday, Dec. 3 at 7:00 p.m. in the Thunderdome. It will be their only home game in December.