TEMPE, Ariz.— Jason Washburn’s demeanor said it all.
Despite scoring 19 points, grabbing 18 rebounds and blocking four shots, the senior found no solace in those statistics after Utah’s 55-54 overtime loss at Arizona State. He spoke in hushed tones after the setback, struggling to keep his emotions in check.
“We’ve been in that situation so many times. There were so many times last year where we were up in games and lost,” Washburn said. “This one hurts me. I don’t know it if hurts more. A loss hurts. Losing hurts, especially when you know and feel you should have won.”
The Utes had their chances — quite a few, as a matter of fact. They had a 49-46 lead late in regulation, but gave up a 3-pointer on a second-chance opportunity with just over one minute left to play — forcing overtime. At the end of game, Utah took four shots in the final 12 seconds in a feverous attempt to regain the lead.
All of them missed the mark, however, denying the Utes an opportunity to win a conference game on the road for the first time since February 2011.
“It’s a fine line,” acknowledged Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak, who noted that among a number of things that could have made the difference would have been just one more basket or a pair of free throws.
Krystkowiak, though, said he was proud of his guys for continuing to play hard on defense when shots weren’t falling consistently.
“I’m not frustrated at all,” Krystkowiak explained. “I’m going to be quickly (ticked) about it, you know, and it’s on to the next thing. We know what we needed to do to win the game. We’ll clean that up.”
Utah shot just 34.5 percent from the field and gave up 15 second-chance points in falling to 8-5 overall and 0-1 in Pac-12 play. The Utes face third-ranked Arizona Saturday in Tucson.
“We’ve got to get back in the saddle and get ready to do it again. That’s the good thing about this time of the season is you can get that taste out of your mouth,” Krystkowiak said. “Unfortunately we’re playing Arizona and I’m not sure that's the easiest task ahead. But we’ve got a couple of days to prepare.”
Although disappointed with Wednesday’s outcome, Washburn noted that the Utes will go back, watch the film and figure things out.
“Obviously we made some mistakes offensively,” he said. “Otherwise I’d be sitting here saying something different right now.”
Washburn’s performance drew praise from Krystkowiak. He said the center put the team on his shoulders and carried them at times.
“It was tremendous,” Krsytkowiak said. “He was locked in from the beginning.”
ASU led 25-24 at halftime in a game featuring eight ties and eight lead changes. Utah’s last-ditch bid to make the latter nine fell short when two shots by Washburn and single attempts by Jarred DuBois and Jordan Loveridge failed to go through the hoop as the final seconds ticked off the clock.
“Welcome to conference basketball,” said ASU coach Herb Sendek. “I thought it was just a very hard-fought college basketball game. Both teams really made it difficult for the other to score — although neither team forced many turnovers.”
Carrick Felix led the Sun Devils (12-2, 1-0) with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Jahii Carson added 15.
In the battle of the brothers, ASU’s Jordan Bachynski led the way with 14 points and eight rebounds in 31 minutes. Utah’s Dallin Bachynski wound up with two points and a rebound in six foul-plagued minutes.
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