Tempe, Ariz. — Princeton’s basketball team took a little Christmas vacation in the desert and capped it off with a stunning upset of No. 17 Arizona State.
Richmond Aririguzoh sank two free throws with 24.8 seconds remaining and Princeton held on to beat the Sun Devils 67-66 on Saturday, a week after the Sun Devils had beaten then-No. 1 Kansas on the same floor.
“We spent three days before this game out here together,” the Tigers’ Devin Cannady said, “and I think that brought us even closer and we believed that we could come into this game and win.”
The Tigers (7-5) beat a ranked opponent for the first time since a victory over then-No. 25 Harvard in 2012. Princeton beat a top 17 team for the first time since a victory over UCLA in the NCAA Tournament in 1996. Princeton coach Mitch Henderson was a member of that Tigers team.
“As seniors, our goal since we came in as freshmen was to knock off a ranked opponent,” Cannady said. “We would have liked to have had Arizona State ranked even higher after that Kansas win. But we came in with that same confidence and we checked that goal off.”
Arizona State (9-3) had three shots in the final seconds to win the game. But, as was the case most of the afternoon, the ball wouldn’t fall.
The Sun Devils, who hadn’t played since that 80-76 win over Kansas a week ago, shot 32 percent (20-of-62) against Princeton and made only two of 15 3-pointers. The Tigers were only slightly better at 35 percent (20-of-57) but hit 10 of 31 3s.
Cannady scored 21 to lead Princeton, including 5 of 12 3s. Jerome Desrosiers added a career-best 16 points and Aririguzoh and Sebastian Much scored 13 apiece.
Romello White had 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Sun Devils, who never led by more than four points. Remy Martin scored 19 for Arizona State. Rob Edwards added 11 points but made just 3 of 12 shots. The trio of Luguentz Dort, Zylan Cheatham and Kimani Lawrence were a combined 2-for-19 from the field.
“There’s no positives to this at all really, that I can think of at the moment,” Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley said. “Just the kind of nonconference that we had and the level of wins that we’ve had, this is a step back. But if we’re going to play like this, then the resume isn’t going to mean a whole lot. … You can’t be one team against the No. 1 team in the country and then play this way.”
It was a one possession game over the final 5:07.
Much tied it at 62-62 with a layup with 3:51 to play but Dort’s two free throws put Arizona State ahead 64-62 with 3:20 left. Much responded with a 3-pointer and Princeton led 65-64. Cheatham’s jumper put the Sun Devils back on top 66-65 with 2:01 to go. The Sun Devils couldn’t score and Arirguzoh went up hard at the rim and was fouled by Dort. His two free throws provided the final margin of 67-66.
“Just envisioned making free throws, just calmed down, just blocked out the noise pretty much,” Arirguzoh said, “and just follow the routine you’ve been doing since you first started playing basketball.”
Edwards missed a pair of 3-point tries and Dort misfired on a jumper at the buzzer.
“They had shots at it to get the win at the very end,” Henderson said. “Usually those fall, they fall at home, and they didn’t tonight. So I’m so proud of those guys.”
Arizona State shot 28 percent in the first half and trailed 37-30 at the break.
(At) No. 3 Tennessee 96, Tennessee Tech 53: Grant Williams scored 25 points and went 10 of 11 from the floor to lead a strong shooting performance for Tennessee in a blowout of Tennessee Tech.
Tennessee shot a season-high 63.8 percent (37 of 58), aided by 12 dunks. The Volunteers were shooting above 70 percent for much of the game before missing seven of their last eight attempts.
The Vols (11-1) have won seven straight overall and 16 consecutive home games ahead of Southeastern Conference competition next weekend.
Jr. Clay scored 16 points to lead Tennessee Tech (4-9).
No. 6 Nevada 86, (at) Utah 71: Caleb Martin scored a career-high 33 points, Jordan Caroline added 17, and Nevada beat Utah.
Jazz Johnson went 4 for 4 from the beyond the arc as the Wolf Pack made 12 3s and shot 46 percent from long range. Coming into the game, the Wolf Pack had made just 27 of their last 112 3-pint attempts.
Nevada, which forced Utah into 18 turnovers, remained just one of five undefeated NCAA Division I teams.
Martin emerged from a shooting slump in a big way with six 3-pointers to go along with seven assists and four steals.
Sedrick Barefield countered with season-best 33 points for the Utes (6-6).
(At) No. 12 Auburn 95, North Florida 49: Bryce Brown scored 18 points and made five 3-pointers, and Auburn raced to a victory over North Florida with a smothering defensive performance.
The Tigers (11-2) forced 33 turnovers and racked up 20 steals in their final nonconference tuneup before Southeastern Conference play.
Auburn converted those turnovers into 41 points, nearly matching the total output for North Florida (5-9).
Austin Wiley had 13 points and seven rebounds for Auburn, which had five players score in double figures. Jared Harper didn’t quite join them but had nine points and 10 assists.
(At) No. 13 Ohio State 82, High Point 64: C.J. Jackson scored 14 of his 20 points in the second half and Kaleb Wesson added 17 points as Ohio State beat High Point.
Luther Muhammed had a career-high 15 points to help the Buckeyes (12-1) get their sixth consecutive win.
Ricky Madison scored 12 points and Curtis Holland III had 11 for the Panthers (6-7), who have lost two straight.
Ohio State shot 70.8 percent in the second half when it outscored the Panthers 45-36.
(At) No. 14 North Carolina 82, Davidson 60: Cameron Johnson scored 17 points, Luke Maye had 11 points and 14 rebounds, and North Carolina beat Davidson.
Kenny Williams added 12 points and Garrison Brooks had 11 to help the Tar Heels (9-3) bounce back from their 80-72 loss to No. 16 Kentucky on Dec. 22 – the first time since 2014 that North Carolina had three losses before Christmas.
Freshman Nassir Little finished with 10 for UNC, which shot 44 percent, had just seven turnovers while pulling away in the final 27 minutes and led by 26 in winning its 10th in a row in the instate series.
The Tar Heels closed the first half with a 20-4 run keyed by eight points from Johnson, then methodically stretched their lead into the 20s, going up 52-32 on Coby White’s free throw with 15:29 remaining.
Jon Axel Gudmundsson had 15 points and 11 rebounds and Luke Frampton scored 15 points to lead Davidson (9-4).
(At) Western Kentucky 83, No. 15 Wisconsin 76: Dalano Banton nearly had a triple-double and Western Kentucky rode the freshman to a win over Wisconsin.
Banton had eight points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists, helping the Hilltoppers catch fire in the second half and beat an AP Top 25 opponent for the second time this season. Western Kentucky beat then-No. 13 West Virginia in November.
Wisconsin (10-3) visited a mid-major school for the first time since the 2014-15 season and couldn’t contend with the Hilltoppers’ 67.8 percent shooting in the second half.
Taveion Hollingsworth led Western Kentucky (7-6) with 22 points.
Brad Davison led Wisconsin with 26 points.
No. 16 Kentucky 71, (at) Louisville 58: Tyler Herro had a career-high 24 points, Keldon Johnson added 15 and Kentucky beat Louisville in this fierce Bluegrass rivalry.
A close game for 10 minutes quickly swung toward the Wildcats (10-2) behind an 11-0 run for a 31-17 lead. The spurt typified their success on both ends. They kept the Cardinals (9-4) from passing and driving inside and grabbed offensive rebounds leading to second and third chances.
Herro thrived the most, making 10 of 13 from the field with four 3-pointers to pass his previous best of 18 achieved twice, most recently on Dec. 1 against UNC Greensboro. Johnson was just 5 of 13 but helped Kentucky keep a double-digit lead for much of the final 30 minutes. The Wildcats won their third in a row overall and 10th of 12 in the Bluegrass rivalry.
Christen Cunningham had a season-high 20 points and Jordan Nwora 17 for Louisville, which shot just 36 percent in having its three-game winning streak stopped.
(At) No. 19 Mississippi State 103, BYU 81: Aric Holman scored a career-high 28 points and Quinndary Weatherspoon had 27 Saturday, leading Mississippi State past BYU for the Bulldogs’ ninth straight victory.
In closing its nonconference schedule, Mississippi State also got 16 points from Tyson Carter and 11 each from Nick Weatherspoon and Reggie Perry.
BYU (8-7) dropped its third straight game and is 0-3 against ranked opponents this season. Yoeli Childs led the Cougars with 25 points and Zac Seljass and TJ Haws each had 14.
(At) No. 21 Buffalo 87, Canisius 72: CJ Massinburg scored 22 points and Nick Perkins added 18 to help Buffalo close out its non-conference schedule with a victory over Canisius.
Jeremy Harris added 17 points and nine rebounds, and Jayvon Graves contributed 10 points as Buffalo improved to 12-1 for the first time since the 1962-63 season.
The Bulls shot a season-high 44 percent from 3-point range (11 of 25) and 50 percent from the field. Massinburg hit 4 of 7 from beyond the arc and Harris was 3 for 5.
Takal Molson led Canisius (3-8) with 15 points. Malik Johnson and Isaiah Reese each had 13.
The Golden Griffins shot out to an early 23-13 lead before the Bulls took control with a 21-2 run. Buffalo used a 13-2 stretch to pull away early in the second half after leading 41-35 at the break.
(At) No. 24 Iowa 72, Bryant 67: Tyler Cook scored 19 points with 12 rebounds and Iowa held off lowly Bryant in its final tuneup before Big Ten play resumes next week.
Jordan Bohannon had 17 points for the Hawkeyes (11-2), who swept their non-conference opponents for the first time since 1986-87.
Iowa hardly looked ready for conference play to pick back up though.
The pesky Bulldogs (3-8) had the Hawkeyes even at 66-all with 3:08 left. Cook gave Iowa the lead back with a layup, and the Hawkeyes forced a subsequent shot-clock violation. Bryant’s Anthony Grant then missed an open look at a potential game-tying 3 with 24 seconds left, and Bohannon sealed it at the free throw line.