Holder, Evans lead No. 21 Arizona St. past Colorado, 80-66
TEMPE — Tra Holder and Shannon Evans each sank four 3-pointers in the second half as No. 21 Arizona State pulled away to beat Colorado 80-66 on Saturday.
The Sun Devils (16-5, 4-5 Pac-12) were 0 for 10 on 3s in a first half that ended tied at 32. But Arizona State made 10 of 21 from long range in the second half, led by two guards who rarely had their shooting touch working on the same night in recent weeks.
Holder scored 18 of his 22 points after halftime, going 4 of 6 on 3s. Evans scored 13 of his 19 in the final 20 minutes, also making 4 of 6 from 3-point range.
Dominique Collier scored 11 points for the Buffaloes (12-10, 4-6), who lost their third straight Pac-12 game. Namon Wright and Lucas Siewert added 10 apiece.
Arizona State avenged a Jan. 4 overtime loss at Colorado and avoided consecutive home losses after being beaten by Utah in overtime on Thursday night.
Arizona State never trailed in the first half but was never up by more than eight points, either, failing to make a 3 in a half for the first time since Jan. 12 last year at Arizona.
Colorado wasn’t much better from long range in the first 20 minutes, going 2 for 10 on 3s.
But one of the makes, by Collier with 1:03 to play in the half, tied it at 30. Evans made two free throws and D’Shawn Schwartz scored inside for Colorado to make it 32-all at the break.
Vitaliy Shibel ended Arizona State’s long-range drought with a 3-pointer to open the second half. George King’s first basket of the night gave Colorado its first lead, 36-35, with 18:16 to play.
It was the first of seven lead changes and seven ties before Schwartz’s 3 put the Buffaloes up 51-47 with 10:52 left. Holder responded with consecutive 3s, the second after a Colorado turnover, and the Sun Devils were back on top 53-50 with 10:01 to go. The Buffaloes never caught up again.
Evans made a 3, Holder sank another, then Evans made one more and it was 65-55 with 6:16 to go. Evans’ final 3 put the Sun Devils ahead 72-60 with 3:35 left.
Colorado had a tough trip to the desert but now has three home games to try to move back up toward the middle of the pack in the Pac-12.
Arizona State fans had to be thrilled to see Holder and Evans get it going, as they did during their 12-0 nonconference run. If that means more confidence, the Sun Devils could climb back into things with some success on the road next week.
Colorado: Hosts Utah on Friday night.
Arizona State: At Washington on Thursday night.