January 13, 2012 | 7:51am
Arizona State's men's basketball team played well most of the way last night against a pretty tough Oregon team, but ended up on the short end of a 67-58 loss.
The Sun Devils hung tough until the last few minutes of their first Pac-12 home game, but simply didn't have the horses to get a much-needed win over a beatable conference opponent.
Those in attendance--and there weren't an awful lot of folks there whatever the "official" count was--were treated to a good little college basketball game in which ASU's Trent Lockett probably was the best offensive player on the court most of the way.
Lockett had 23 points, but he isn't the best ball-handler around, and his seven turnovers as a quasi-point guard ultimately negated much of his good work.
The Ducks' Devoe Joseph, a transfer from the University of Minnesota, hit his average of 15 a game on the nose, and seemed to come up big whenever his team needed a lift. He will be a handful for the Arizona Wildcats in their big game in Tucson tomorrow night. (Arizona nipped Oregon State in overtime last night at home in a game that demonstrates how balanced the Pac-12 is this season.)
One bright sign: freshman Jonathan Gilling is turning into a good player, and with the dismissal of Keala King from the team, he's getting a lot of PT and making the most of it.
He seems fearless out there, and doesn't do too many dumb, rookie-like things.
ASU dropped to 5-11 overall, and 1-3 in the Pac-12.
The Devils play Oregon State on Saturday at the Wells Fargo Arena, with tip-off at 6 p.m.
The game will be televised on Channel 34 (Fox Sports), and will air on 860 AM if you choose to listen in.
Arizona's game, by the way, starts at 1:30 p.m. tomorrow, and will be nationally televised on Channel 5 (CBS).