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Sun Devils come up short against USC

January 28, 2011

Box Score |  Quotes |  Notes



By: Dushan Mladenovic, ASU Media Relations

Arizona State (9-11, 1-7) lost a close game to the USC Trojans 63-61 (12-9, 4-4) at Wells Fargo Arena. A late drive fell short as ASU was unable to score with half a second remaining. Rihards Kuksiks led the team with 22 points while Ty Abbott added 19 and grabbed seven rebounds.

The frustrating run in the Pac-10 so far continued tonight for the Sun Devils as they marked their seventh loss in conference play. Though ASU was able to maintain the lead through much of the game, a talented USC team led by center Nikola Vucevic was able to pull out a two point victory in the end.

The Sun Devils kept the lead through-out the first half led by Ty Abbott's 11 points. ASU led 31-29 at the half. The game remained close with the Trojans biggest lead being by eight with just over six minutes to play.

Rihards Kuksiks came alive in the second half dropping three consecutive shots from behind the arc along with two free throws tying the game at 58 with a minute remaining. Kuksiks put up a season high 22 points. It was his ninth career game over 20 points.

Arizona State shot 45.5 percent (20-44) from the field and 47.4 percent (9 of 19) from behind the arc. The Sun Devils were only 48 percent (12 of 25) from the free throw line.

The Trojans were led by Nikola Vucevic's 26 points and 12 rebounds. Maurice Jones added 14 points as well. USC shot 48 percent (24 of 50) from the field, 40 percent (6 of 15) from behind the arc.

Ty Abbott commented on the loss, "It just came down to those plays in the end. They made plays and their guys had big shots. Rick [Kuksiks] had to do it by himself towards the end."

Arizona State takes on the UCLA Bruins on Saturday, January 29, at 1:30 at Wells Fargo Arena.