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Desmond Cambridge Jr.’s halfcourt 3 at buzzer for ASU spoils Arizona’s Senior Day

First home loss to ASU since 2019

arizona-wildcats-asu-sun-devils-recap-highlights-stats-pac12-seniors-2023-mckale Zachary BonDurant-USA TODAY Sports

That’s not how you want the last game at home to go.

Desmond Cambridge Jr. swished a game-winning 3-pointer from beyond halfcourt at the buzzer, giving ASU an 89-88 win over No. 7 Arizona on Saturday afternoon at McKale Center.

It was the Wildcats’ first loss to the Sun Devils since 2020 and their first at home since 2019, and in the process clinches at least a share of the Pac-12 regular-season title for UCLA. The Bruins can wrap up the crown with a win Sunday at Colorado.

Arizona (24-5, 13-5 Pac-12) blew a 10-point lead in the final 6:30 by making only one field goal over the final seven minutes. It made eight of 10 free throws, but one of those misses came from Oumar Ballo with 2.9 seconds left and the UA up one, giving ASU a chance to win it with a 3.

The Wildcats looked like they had iced the back-and-forth game when Ballo pulled down a rebound off a DJ Horne missed jump and was fouled with 2.9 seconds, but he missed the first foul shot, the 11th miss in 34 attempts. He made the second, allowing ASU to set up the final play in which Cambridge got a feed from Jamiya Neal, took a step and launched.

“We’ll live with that shot every time,” said UA guard Courtney Ramey, one of four seniors who started.

Ramey had 14 points and hit four 3-pointers, as Arizona made 11 3s and shot 50.9 percent. But the Sun Devils (20-9, 11-7) shot 53.7 percent and also made 11 3s. Cambridge led the way with 19 points, while Horne had 18.

“We were terrible in our execution,” said senior Cedric Henderson Jr., who had a team-high 19.

Azuolas Tubelis had 17 and Pelle Larsson added 16 and Kerr Kriisa had 10 with five assists. But Ballo only took three shots, scoring seven points with a season-low three rebounds. Arizona outrebounded ASU 35-28 but got only eight points off seven offensive boards.

Arizona trailed 46-45 at the half, despite shooting 59.3 percent and making 6 of 12 3s. Ramey made the Wildcats’ seventh and eighth triples in the first minute of the second half to match their biggest lead of the first half, but ASU scrapped back and went up 55-53 on a Warren Washington dunk with 16:18 to go.

That score came in the middle of a 2-minute span where six fouls were called, putting Washington and ASU teammates Frankie Collins and Devan Cambridge in trouble with three apiece while Ballo got his 3rd and Tubelis his first.

A Kriisa 3 capped a 9-2 run to put Arizona up by six, then despite having Ballo get his fourth foul and Tubelis and Larsson their third each in a 38-second span the Wildcats extended the lead to 78-68 with 6:30 left on a pair of Henderson free throws.

But then the UA went without a field goal for more than six minutes, allowing ASU to get back in. A Cambridge Jr. 3 made it a 5-point game with 4:47 left, and his triple off a scramble made it an 82-81 Arizona lead with 2:24 remaining.

DJ Horne then hit a 3 to put the Sun Devils up 84-83 with 1:49 left, and the lead changed three more times down the stretch.

Walk-on Jordan Mains scored Arizona’s first basket, converting a second chance off his own rebound, and walk-on Matthew Lang had a steal that led to a transition score. They exited to a standing ovation with 17:17 left in the first half, with Kriisa and Tubelis taking their place.

ASU was hot from outside to start, making its first two 3-point attempts and 4 of 8 in the first nine minutes. The Sun Devils were 3 of 27 from outside in Arizona’s 69-60 win in Tempe on New Year’s Eve.

A jumper by Horne, which tied the game at 29 with 7:56 left in the first half, gave ASU one more field goal (12) than it had the entire first half in the previous meeting.

The first half had eight ties and eight lead changes, the last coming with 1:49 left when Neal hit a corner 3 to put ASU up 42-40. The Sun Devils led by four twice in the final 62 seconds but Henderson drained a 3 at the halftime buzzer to cut the deficit to one.

Arizona heads to Los Angeles to wrap up the regular season, visiting USC on Thursday night and No. 4 UCLA on Saturday evening.