Leave the ASU-UA debate to last season, the Sun Devils decisively claimed the 2013-14 Territorial Cup® series, Sunday, with men’s golf’s sixth-place finish over Arizona’s ninth-place finish at the Pac-12 Championships in Tucson, Ariz. The men’s golf point pushed Arizona State over the mark to the requisite 10.5 points to claim the bragging rights victory for the Territorial Cup® for the first time in the five-year series history.
Those 10.5 points came in decisive on the field victories and dramatic overtime showdowns on the court. Wins from football, men’s cross country, gymnastics, men’s golf, baseball, softball, men’s indoor track and sand volleyball along with series splits in men’s basketball, women’s basketball and indoor volleyball sealed the deal.
The Sun Devils wrapped up the victory early and could still earn more points in the series with women's and men's track still left to compete. As of April 28th, Arizona State leads Arizona 10.5-7.5 with the two track points still to come. However, even with a sweep of track, ASU's score of 10.5 is all but out of reach.
In what turned out to be one of the top games in program history, irrespective of rival No. 2 Arizona as the opponent, the Sun Devil men's basketball defeated the highest-ranked team to ever set foot in Wells Fargo Arena with a 69-66, 2OT victory. The win gave ASU its first win over a top-three opponent in 31 years, in front of a nationally televised audience on ESPN.
The final 15 seconds of the game played out like a well-orchestrated machine. Two-guard Jermaine Marshall (29 points), who was known throughout the season for his ability to score in the clutch, hit the go ahead shot to put ASU on top. Senior Jordan Bachynski, the Pac-12 record-setting center, swatted away Arizona’s attempted answer on the other end of the court into the hands of Jahii Carson (17 points), who capped off the conclusion of the game in dynamic form with a decisive dunk.
“It’s just an amazing feeling,” said Bachynski of the last-second block. “…And for Jahii to dunk it on the other end to expand the lead, there’s no words to describe that.”
With the suspense of the last four Territorial Cup® football games looming, the 58-21 beat down of the Wildcats was a welcomed way to close out the 2013 regular season for Sun Devil Football.
Some fortuitous outcomes in other Pac-12 match-ups opened the door for No. 12 ASU to host the Pac-12 Championship game, but the Sun Devils had to get through Arizona first. Arizona State didn't just get the win over Arizona, the Sun Devils mounted a 37-point victory in Tempe to cap off a perfect regular season at home in Sun Devil Stadium and recorded a league-best 8-1 record in Pac-12 play.
In its 10th victory the Sun Devils scored 58 points, the sixth time this season ASU has scored over the 50-point mark. Also, it was the first time Arizona State recorded a 10-win season since 2007 and the 12th 10-win season in school history.
With all the drama that had played out in most recent games in the series, the commanding victory gave Sun Devil Nation a chance to relax, enjoy the epic demolition of a rival, and look forward to hosting Sun Devil Stadium's first-ever Pac-12 Title Game.
"Sun Devil Nation was awesome tonight," said Pac-12 Coach of the Year Todd Graham of the Sun Devil fan base's support. "It was a huge factor in the game. I just wanted to shout out to them. I’m so proud that they packed the stadium tonight."