Texas almost blew a 14-point second-half lead, but held on for a heart-stopping two-point 87-85 win over No. 10-seed Arizona State in a Midwest Region game Thursday at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee.
Cameron Ridley, the Longhorns’ 6-9 sophomore center grabbed the offensive rebound on a missed three-point shot by Jonathan Holmes and put it back up and in with just one second left on the game clock. Arizona State reserve forward Jonathan Gilling had just made two free throws 16 seconds earlier to knot the game at 85.
Ridley made six of 12 field-goal tries and five of seven free throws for a team-high 17 points and hauled down 12 rebounds in the Longhorns’ first NCAA Tournament victory since 2011. Freshman guard Martez Walker came off the bench to contribute 16 points.
Arizona State’s big 7-2 center Jordan Bachynski had 25 points and guard Jahii Carson added 19, Bachynski and Sun Devils guard Jermaine Marshall each had seven rebounds.
Even though, Texas led for most of the contest, the game was very well played on both sides. The team stat lines were relatively equal: shooting percentage: Texas 53 percent, Arizona State 48 percent; rebounds, 30 to 32; assists, 17 each, turnovers, 10 to nine; three-point field goals, 5 of 12 for Texas, 8 of 15 for Arizona State.
One stat that did stand out was the extraordinarily high number of fouls whistled on both teams. State made 33 trips to the charity stripe, but was successful on just 23 of them.
Arizona State ends its season at 21-12. The Sun Devils were making their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2009.
Texas lives to see another day. The Longhorns will play No. 2-seed Michigan, a 57-40 winner over No. 15 Wofford, in a third-round matchup on Saturday.
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