The Runnin' Utes nearly accomplished a feat they failed to achieve during head coach Larry Krystkowiak's first year at the helm — win a conference game on the road.
The Utes played a very competitive Pac-12 opener on the road at Arizona State University. Utah was in the game the entire way, but just fell short at the end, losing 55-54 in overtime.
With just less than two minutes remaining and with the Utes trailing by two, Jordan Loveridge took the ball into the post, pump-faked, and took a 5-foot jump shot that clanged off the iron. However, Jason Washburn was there for the putback and the foul. His free throw put the Utes up by one with 1:37 remaining.
The Utes took a three-point lead moments later when Jordan Loveridge converted two free throws, but the Sun Devils tied it up with a Jahii Carson 3-point, second-chance shot. For their turn, the Utes failed to convert, giving Arizona State the ball and an opportunity to take the lead with 37 seconds remaining.
The Sun Devils ran the clock down to six seconds and called timeout. Following the break, ASU missed a 3-point shot attempt, and rather than call a play, the Utes opted to heave a prayer from the half-court stripe that missed by a foot, and the game went into overtime.
In overtime, the biggest lead either team held was two points. With 39 seconds remaining and the Utes trailing by two, Jared DuBois hit a straightaway 3-pointer to give the Utes a 54-53 lead.
The advantage was short-lived. Carson hit a driving layup that gave ASU a 55-54 lead with 34 seconds left. The Utes had three chances for the win, and failed all three times.
DuBois' driving layup attempt was blocked out of bounds with 12 seconds remaining. On the following possession, Washburn missed a 7-foot hook shot in the lane, and a mad scramble ensued for the ball. With players on the ground wrestling for the ball, officials called for a jump ball, and Utah retained possession.
Washburn got another chance, but his attempt also missed, and the Sun Devils escaped with a victory.
Utah has won a single road game as a member of the Pac-12 conference, a 74-69 win over Texas State on Nov. 30. The Utes will try to win their first Pac-12 road game Saturday at Arizona.