TEMPE, Ariz. — Derrick White wasn't in any mood to celebrate following the Colorado Buffaloes' gut-wrenching 78-77 loss Thursday night at Arizona State.
Still, perhaps some day White will be able to appreciate the historic implications of his big night at Wells Fargo Arena.
White's final points on a driving bucket with 19.6 seconds remaining put a shorthanded Buffs team in position to pick up a critical Pac-12 Conference road game. It also gave him a final tally of 35 points, and he became the first CU player to top the 30-point mark since Josh Scott scored 32 in an overtime game at Washington State on March 7, 2015.
It is the most points by a Buff since Askia Booker scored 43 on Jan. 13, 2015 at USC. Booker also received extra time to reach that mark in an epic triple-overtime battle.
White went 10-for-20 from the field and a perfect 12-for-12 at the free throw line. White also added five rebounds, five assists, and three blocked shots. However, afterward the senior guard was only dwelling on his six turnovers and the missed box-out that led to the winning free throws by ASU's Tra Holder with 1.6 seconds remaining.
"I missed my box out. That's on me," White said. "Yeah, I scored a lot but I had way too many turnovers. I've just got to be better a lot of aspects."
Errant from arc
Among the strengths the Buffs were expected to lean on this season was the 3-point shooting of George King and Josh Fortune.
Yet both players remain mired in inexplicable shooting slumps that continued at ASU. King, the Pac-12 Conference leader in 3-point percentage a year ago, went 0-for-6 from long range against the Sun Devils. Over the past nine games King has made only 9 of 35 3-point attempts, and after posting a .456 3-point percentage last year his mark this season has dipped to .273 (15-for-55).
Fortune, a .385 3-point shooter last year, has gone 0-for-5 in two Pac-12 games to drop to .298 this year. Fortune at least was able to finally make other contributions Thursday, matching a season-best with four assists and adding five rebounds with only one turnover in 25 minutes.
"Obviously I've been in a shooting slump right now, so I'm trying to do other things like getting my teammates involved, guard my man, and rebounding," Fortune said. "I tried to do that the best I could."
Freshman guard Bryce Peters has seen his minutes drop of late, but CU coach Tad Boyle didn't hesitate to use the rookie in a key defensive situation.
White had just given the Buffs the lead with 19.6 seconds left when Boyle inserted Peters to match up against ASU's Tra Holder. During the possession Peters switched to ASU's Torian Graham, the Sun Devils' leading scorer who had gone 4-for-7 from 3-point range to that point. Peters forced an errant shot, but the Buffs were unable to grab the game-clinching rebound. Holder beat White to the carom, then converted two free throws with 1.6 seconds left to give ASU the win.
"We've got great confidence in Bryce defensively," Boyle said. "He's got the strength. He's got the quickness. He's got an opportunity to be a really good defender."
Reserve forward Tory Miller continued his run of efficient minutes, going 4-for-5 with eight points and four rebounds. Miller has shot a torrid 12-for-14 over the past four games...For the first time this season freshman Lucas Siewert did not make an appearance off the bench.
Arizona State 78, Colorado 77
At Wells Fargo Arena
COLORADO (10-5, 0-2)
Gordon 1-3 2-2 4, Johnson 6-7 0-0 13, White 10-20 12-12 35, King 1-9 2-2 4, Fortune 2-5 1-1 5, Akyazili 0-1 0-0 0, Brown 2-4 0-1 5, Miller 4-5 0-0 8, Collier 0-2 1-1 1, Peters 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 27-59 18-20 77.
Arizona State (9-7, 2-1)
Oleka 7-11 1-2 15, Vila 1-1 2-2 4, Evans 3-14 4-4 11, Justice 6-14 3-3 18, Justice 4-6 0-0 10, O'Field 0-0 0-0 0, Graham 7-15 0-0 18, Tshisumpa 1-1 0-0 2.
3-point field goals — Colorado 5-22 (Johnson 1-2, White 3-6, King 0-6, Fortune 0-2, Akyazili 0-1, Brown 1-2, Collier 0-1, Peters 0-2); Arizona State 10-26 (Oleka 0-3, Holder 1-5, Evans 3-7, Justice 2-3, Graham 4-8). Rebounds — Colorado 36 (King 7); Arizona State 32 (Oleka 10). Assists — Colorado 16 (White 5); Arizona State 11 (Holder 3, Evans 3). Total fouls — Colorado 16, Arizona State 21. A — 5,147.