Stanford’s James Keefe (22) shoots a game-winning shot against the Arizona State Sun Devils at the Pac 12 Tournament in Las Vegas on Wed Mar 9, 2022 (AP News photo)
By Daniel Dullum
Wednesday, March 9, 2022
The good news for Stanford: It gets to continue in the Pac-12 men’s basketball tournament in Las Vegas. The bad news: The Cardinal get to play top seed and No. 2-ranked Arizona in the quarterfinal round.
Stanford stopped a late-season nosedive on Wednesday when James Keefe converted a short jumper as time expired, providing the Cardinal with a stunning 71-70 opening round win over favored Arizona State.
Going into the tournament, Stanford (16-15) had lost five straight and seven of its last eight games in the regular season. The Sun Devils (14-17) came into the tournament on a roll, having won four straight and seven of their last eight.
Keefe’s shot, which bounced around the rim and backboard as time elapsed, capped a 16-1 run that erased a 14-point Cardinal deficit. The Sun Devils were up 50-33 at 13:35 of the second half before a 13-3 Stanford run pulled them to within seven at 7:47.
Two more 3-pointers and a dunk by Kimani Lawrence put the Devils back up by 14 with three minutes remaining.
Spencer Jones sank a 3-pointer that pulled the Cardinal to within 70-69 with 37 seconds to play. Stanford chose not to foul, and after Harrison Ingram got the rebound off a miss by ASU’s Jalen Graham with nine seconds remaining, he headed up court but had the ball stripped in the lane.
Keefe picked up the loose ball about ten feet away from the basket and hoisted a desperation floater with a half-second showing on the clock that found the mark.
Jones made six 3s while scoring a career-high 26 points for Stanford. Keefe finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while making seven of eight from the field. Brandon Angel added 15 points.
ASU lost to Stanford for the first time this season despite tying the Pac-12 tournament record of 15 3-pointers, set by Stanford against Arizona State in an overtime game in 2013. The Sun Devils were also 11 of 33 on 2-point field goals and three of seven at the free throw line.
DJ Horne led the Sun Devils with 21 points, including five treys. Marreon Jackson had 14 points, including three 3s, and Jay Heath made four 3-pointers for 12 points.
As the tournament’s top seed, Arizona drew a first-round bye and will tip off with the Cardinal Thursday at 12 noon PST.