“I just threw it up and it went in.” Those words by Cameron Ridley summarized the performance he displayed as Texas overcame Arizona State’s almost perfect comeback. In Texas’ 87-85 nail-biting win over the Sun Devils, the Horns needed every bit of Ridley’s 17 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks in a battle of big men.
After what began to look like a shootout, the Longhorns finally pulled away after halftime, leading by 14 at one point behind a new career-high for Martez Walker with 16. But after a quiet first half for Jahii Carson and Jermaine Marshall, the two carried the Sun Devils to a one-point lead with less than two minutes to play.
In what looked to be the last chance Texas would have to take the lead, the lone veteran Jonathan Holmes regained control 85-83 after lucky layup and free throw. On the other end, Ridley’s counterpart, Jordan Backysnki of Arizona State took the lead with a monstrous slam with only seconds remaining.
On the final possession of the game, Holmes looked to relive his dream of hitting a game-winning three as he did during the season against Kansas State. Instead, the “big fella” for Texas put the team on his back as he had done all night when Ridley came up with a huge loose ball and banked in the electric buzzer beating layup to send the Sun Devils home.
In one of the few scenarios where Ridley is undersized, the Longhorns’ go-to-guy put on a Texas-sized performance to keep Texas dancing.