TEMPE, Ariz. – Just a single field goal over the final seven minutes of regulation spelled doom for No. 1/1 Kansas as the Jayhawks fell to No. 18/19 Arizona State, 80-76, Saturday night inside Wells Fargo Arena. KU’s Dedric Lawson led all scorers with a season-high 30 points and posted his eighth double-double of the season, but a 15-4 Sun Devil run over the final 4:48 was too much for the visitors as the top-ranked Jayhawks suffered their first loss of the season.
Kansas, playing in its first true road game of the young season, dropped to 10-1, while the Sun Devils moved to 9-2.
It was all Kansas and all Lawson in the opening 20 minutes, as the KU forward scored 18 of his 30 points to help the Jayhawks take an eight-point lead into the locker room. He connected on eight of his ten first-half tries from the field, including a 3-pointer at the 3:42 mark, which put the Jayhawks ahead by 12 points, 39-27, its largest lead of the game.
It was a positive start to the second frame for KU, which grew its lead back to double-figures, 41-31, less than 20 seconds into the half. However, Lawson picked up two quick fouls and was forced to exit less than four minutes into the period. After KU’s leading scorer went to the bench, ASU slowly began to fight its way back into the game. The Sun Devils used a quick 6-0 spurt to cut the KU lead to three points, 43-40, still with 16 minutes to play in regulation.
Both teams would trade baskets over the next 10 minutes, with Kansas not seeing its lead get smaller than five points in that span. But back-to-back triples from Arizona State’s Rob Edwards cut the KU edge down to 67-65 with six minutes to play and got the Sun Devils as close as the had been all game. Just a minute later though, Lagerald Vick answered with a four-point play, converting on a 3-pointer of his own to go along with a foul shot, and for the moment, it seemed the Jayhawks had regained the momentum as they led 72-65 with just under five minutes to go.
But that Vick 3-pointer would be the Jayhawks’ final field goal of the game as the Sun Devils managed to come up with some key stops and convert on some late free throws to end the contest on a 15-4 run. Kansas had two chances in the final minute to tie or take the lead but the Jayhawks turned it over on both trips down the floor. Arizona State took advantage and closed out the upset, claiming its second win over the Jayhawks in as many years, 80-76.
In addition to Lawson’s 30-point outing, his highest of the season, Vick and Devon Dotson joined their teammate in double-figures, scoring 14 and 12 points, respectively. Despite posting a season-best 94 percent clip (15-of-16) from the free throw line, Kansas allowed a 32 ASU free throw attempts, which the Sun Devils converted into 20 points.