USC
ARIZST

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Holder's late basket gives Arizona St 80-78 win over USC

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) Tra Holder wanted the last shot of the game, and after his team had struggled with shooting and free throws all night, he felt confident his fadeaway bank shot was going in.

It did, with less than two seconds to play, and Arizona State scored the last nine points of Thursday night's game to stun USC 80-78.

The Trojans had the final possession but couldn't get off a shot from near half-court.

Holder's 22 points led the Sun Devils (18-6, 6-6 Pac-12 Conference), who won the opener of a two-game conference set for the first time this season after losing five in a row. Shannon Evans added 21 points.

''I probably faded, but I was on balance, I thought,'' Holder said of his winner. ''I had two feet planted. I threw it to the right a little bit, and I knew it was cash.''

Nick Rakocevic scored 19 points and Bennie Boatwright added 18 for USC (17-8, 8-4).

The Sun Devils missed 12 free throws for the game and went five minutes without a field goal late in the second half after cutting the USC lead to one. But USC didn't score in the final 2:28 and committed three turnovers in that stretch.

''That's the beauty of this, is that we won a game like this and I think we were far from our best,'' Sun Devils coach Bobby Hurley said.

Evans drilled a deep 3 with 50 seconds to play to tie the score at 78. Then Arizona State rebounded a Trojans miss and opted not to call timeout before the winning play.

''Cash,'' Evans deadpanned when asked about his shot. ''Net. I was just reacting. The ball was going in for me the second half. I had some room.''

The Sun Devils trimmed the USC lead to 67-66 on an Evans 3 with 7:11 to play, but the Trojans had an answer. They scored the next eight points, capped off by Boatwright's 3 at the 5:02 mark.

Boatwright, who'd struggled to get into a rhythm early in the game, held his follow-through high for the crowd to see as he back-pedaled on defense.

Remy Martin and Kodi Justice hit shots after USC led 78-71, followed by Evans' 3.

''It's been tough for us. Definitely the first game of the week, we always tend to lose that one,'' Evans said. ''To get the first one out the way is good but we're trying to get two this week.''

The Trojans were out of sorts in the first half, going down 9-2 on a 3-pointer out of the corner from Holder. USC didn't score for almost six minutes after making its first shot of the game.

But the Trojans rallied to take a 24-20 lead after an 8-0 run. Then Boatwright got hot for USC, and his 3 with 1:05 to go in the half gave the Trojans a 37-29 lead.

Boatwright, a 6-10 junior, scored all 10 of his 12 first-half points in the final 2:40 of the half. Holder had 10 at halftime for the Sun Devils.

''They played hard enough to win but as a team, we made too many mistakes,'' USC coach Andy Enfield said. ''When you have that many small things, it adds up in a game like this. Our guys played hard and I'm proud of them. We're going to stick together and try to win on Saturday.''

BIG PICTURE

USC: The Trojans missed a golden opportunity to move into a first-place tie with 13th-ranked Arizona after the Wildcats lost at home to UCLA on Thursday. Now they face the Wildcats in Tucson on Saturday.

Arizona State: After facing UCLA and Arizona, both at home, in its next two games, the Sun Devils finish the conference season with two of their four remaining games against teams near the bottom of the standings - Oregon State and California. Arizona State, with a good run of conference wins, still has a shot at a top-four seed and first round bye in the Pac-12 tournament.

NEED FOR SPEED

IndyCar drivers Tony Kanaan and Simon Pagenaud, in town for local track testing, were the latest celebrity types to be featured in the infamous Curtain of Distraction, a tactic of Arizona State students used to razz opposing free throw shooters.

HIGHLIGHT REEL

Arizona State's Vitaly Shibel, a starter, entered the game averaging just 1.3 points per game in conference play. But he delivered a powerful two-handed follow dunk of a missed shot just before the halftime buzzer cut USC's lead to 37-33.

RALLY DEVILS

Arizona State won its seventh game of the season after trailing at the half, with three of those wins against Pac-12 opponents.

UP NEXT

USC: At No. 13 Arizona on Saturday.

Arizona State: Host UCLA on Saturday.

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Key Players
J. McLaughlin
11 G
T. Holder
0 G
35.6 Min. Per Game 35.6
19.0 Pts. Per Game 19.0
3.8 Ast. Per Game 3.8
4.7 Reb. Per Game 4.7
45.9 Field Goal % 42.9
41.6 Three Point % 39.4
74.7 Free Throw % 84.2
  Lost ball turnover on Chimezie Metu 1.0
+ 2 Tra Holder made fade-away jump shot 1.0
  Defensive rebound by Romello White 27.0
  Chimezie Metu missed driving layup 29.0
+ 3 Shannon Evans II made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Remy Martin 50.0
  Defensive rebound by Arizona State 1:01
  Bennie Boatwright missed 3-pt. jump shot 1:03
+ 2 Kodi Justice made floating jump shot 1:38
  Bad pass turnover on Bennie Boatwright 1:47
  Defensive rebound by Bennie Boatwright 1:47
  Tra Holder missed 3-pt. jump shot 1:49
Team Stats
Points 78 80
Field Goals 27-55 (49.1%) 27-64 (42.2%)
3-Pointers 8-25 (32.0%) 6-23 (26.1%)
Free Throws 16-20 (80.0%) 20-32 (62.5%)
Total Rebounds 39 36
Offensive 7 8
Defensive 30 23
Team 2 5
Assists 16 14
Steals 3 8
Blocks 1 1
Turnovers 18 6
Fouls 23 18
Technicals 1 0
19 PTS, 7 REB, 1 AST
22 PTS, 4 REB, 3 AST
12T
away team logo USC 17-8 374178
home team logo Arizona St. 18-6 334780
Team Stats
away team logo USC 17-8 85.3 PPG 48 RPG 14.7 APG
home team logo Arizona St. 18-6 90.7 PPG 58.7 RPG 14.3 APG
Key Players
31
N. Rakocevic F 17.7 PPG 15.3 RPG 1.0 APG 52.6 FG%
00
T. Holder G PPG RPG APG FG%
Top Scorers
N. Rakocevic F 19 PTS 7 REB 1 AST
T. Holder G 22 PTS 4 REB 3 AST
49.1 FG% 42.2
32.0 3PT FG% 26.1
80.0 FT% 62.5
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
N. Rakocevic 24 19 7 1 1 0 1 3 6/6 0/0 7/10 3 4
C. Metu 23 13 6 3 0 0 5 3 6/9 0/1 1/2 2 4
J. McLaughlin 36 7 2 4 0 0 4 2 2/6 1/3 2/2 1 1
S. Aaron 24 4 4 0 0 0 0 2 1/5 0/2 2/2 0 4
E. Stewart 30 3 6 1 2 0 3 4 1/7 1/4 0/0 0 6
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
N. Rakocevic 24 19 7 1 1 0 1 3 6/6 0/0 7/10 3 4
C. Metu 23 13 6 3 0 0 5 3 6/9 0/1 1/2 2 4
J. McLaughlin 36 7 2 4 0 0 4 2 2/6 1/3 2/2 1 1
S. Aaron 24 4 4 0 0 0 0 2 1/5 0/2 2/2 0 4
E. Stewart 30 3 6 1 2 0 3 4 1/7 1/4 0/0 0 6
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
B. Boatwright 28 18 8 3 0 1 3 2 6/14 4/10 2/2 0 8
J. Mathews 13 8 2 0 0 0 0 5 3/5 2/4 0/0 1 1
J. Usher 8 4 1 2 0 0 1 2 1/1 0/0 2/2 0 1
D. Thornton 14 2 1 2 0 0 1 0 1/2 0/1 0/0 0 1
K. Karis - - - - - - - - - - - - -
H. Henderson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Fleming - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. O'Bannon Jr. - - - - - - - - - - - - -
V. Uyaelunmo - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 200 78 37 16 3 1 18 23 27/55 8/25 16/20 7 30
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
T. Holder 38 22 4 3 0 0 0 1 6/15 1/6 9/12 0 4
S. Evans II 36 21 1 1 2 0 2 2 6/16 5/10 4/4 0 1
R. White 24 7 5 0 0 0 1 4 3/5 0/0 1/5 1 4
K. Justice 26 5 4 4 0 0 2 1 2/8 0/6 1/2 0 4
V. Shibel 11 2 4 0 1 0 0 1 1/1 0/0 0/0 2 2
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
T. Holder 38 22 4 3 0 0 0 1 6/15 1/6 9/12 0 4
S. Evans II 36 21 1 1 2 0 2 2 6/16 5/10 4/4 0 1
R. White 24 7 5 0 0 0 1 4 3/5 0/0 1/5 1 4
K. Justice 26 5 4 4 0 0 2 1 2/8 0/6 1/2 0 4
V. Shibel 11 2 4 0 1 0 0 1 1/1 0/0 0/0 2 2
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
R. Martin 26 10 3 5 2 0 0 1 4/10 0/1 2/4 1 2
K. Lawrence 10 7 1 0 0 0 1 3 2/3 0/0 3/4 1 0
D. Lake 12 4 5 0 2 1 0 3 2/4 0/0 0/0 2 3
M. Mitchell 17 2 4 1 1 0 0 2 1/2 0/0 0/1 1 3
A. Witherill - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Fogerty - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Salzman - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Thompson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Roggin - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 200 80 31 14 8 1 6 18 27/64 6/23 20/32 8 23