- Associated Press - Saturday, February 15, 2014

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - Arizona had been able to get way with occasional nights when the 3-pointers and free throws were not falling.

Even with the kind defense the Wildcats play, it wasn’t enough against their biggest rival.

Second-ranked Arizona kept Arizona State close with its defense, but couldn’t overcome another poor shooting night in a 69-66 loss to the Sun Devils on Friday.

Arizona shot 4 of 16 from 3-point range and 16 of 30 on free throws, negating a 54-35 advantage in rebounds, including 18 on the offensive glass.

“Our offense is continuing to put more and more pressure on our defense,” Arizona coach Sean Miller. “You can only guard so well.”

With both teams struggling offensively all night in a physical game filled with fouls, neither team could take control.

Arizona State (19-6, 8-4 Pac-12) won it by turning to Jermaine Marshall and relying on Jordan Bachynski.

Marshall, who missed the first game against Arizona, went over 20 minutes without a field goal, but made a pair of 3-pointers in the second overtime, then scored on a drive with 14 seconds left to put the Sun Devils up 67-66. He had eight of his 29 points in the second overtime.

Arizona (23-2, 10-2) didn’t call a timeout and got the ball into the hands of McConnell for a final shot. The Wildcats’ point guard hit some big shots throughout the game, but his final attempt was sent back by Bachynski, leading to a breakaway dunk by Jahii Carson that sent the fans pouring onto the court.

One problem: There was still time left on the clock. Less than a second, but enough for the Wildcats to get off a good shot.

Nick Johnson got a good one, too. It hit the rim and bounced away, though, sending the fans back onto the court and the Sun Devils to victory over Arizona, the highest-ranked opponent they have ever beaten at home.

“In terms of college basketball, that’s as good as it gets,” said Arizona State coach Herb Sendek, who was doused with Gatorade in the locker room. “Obviously, the game could have gone either way, but I stand in awe at the players on both teams and their ability to perform on a stage like that, in such conditions, they really have my total respect.”

Arizona won the first game over Arizona State in a rout and its first two games without injured forward Brandon Ashley.

The Wildcats tried to eke out another victory behind their defense, but came up short behind poor perimeter shooting and from the free-throw line.

McConnell led Arizona with 17 points and five rebounds. Kaleb Tarczewski had 13 points and 13 rebounds, and Aaron Gordon added 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Wildcats, who shot 35 percent overall.

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