TEMPE, Ariz. — On the most important shot of Utah’s overtime victory over Arizona State — the game-tying 3-pointer by Sedrick Barefield at the end of regulation — there was a giant miscommunication between player and coach.
Ute coach Larry Krystkowiak wanted a timeout. Barefield thought his coach was saying ‘Go.’ So Barefield looked for an open space to launch a 3-point shot from the right angle with three seconds to go. His shot hit nothing but net to send the game into overtime, where the Utes pulled out the 80-77 victory.
“I honestly thought he told me to go,” said Barefield afterward. “I looked at him and he said ‘Go.’ I just went for it, an in-and-out crossover and shot it. It’s just another shot you got to make, that’s how I see it.”
Krystkowiak saw it differently, but he wasn’t complaining.
“I was (trying to call timeout), when Sedrick knocked it down," he said. "I’m glad they don’t pay attention.”
Barefield finished with a team-high 17 points, all in the second half. Besides his game-tying 3-pointer, he scored six points in the overtime period.
The SMU transfer had gone out of the game, but returned with 1:06 left in regulation when Justin Bibbins fouled out.
When Krystkowiak sent him into the game, he said, “Go win us the game,” and in this case, Barefield listened to his coach.
DIFFERENT LINEUP: After using the same starting lineup for 13 of the first 15 games, Krystkowiak has changed things up, using three different starting lineups in three of the next four games.
For Thursday night’s game, the Ute coach used still another lineup, his seventh different one of the season, putting Parker Van Dyke in along with Gabe Bealer, who had started the first 12 games. Usual starters David Collette, Tyler Rawson, and Justin Bibbins rounded out the lineup.
It was slightly different than the game Sunday night when Donnie Tillman got the start instead of Bealer. In both games, Barefield came off the bench after starting 16 of 17 games before Sunday night.
LOCAL TIES: Among the seven retired jerseys of former Sun Devil greats at Wells Fargo Arena are two with local Utah connections.
Byron Scott, who played with ASU from 1979-83 before going to the Lakers, is the son of former Ute standout Allen Holmes and was born in Ogden. He spent some of his youth in Utah.
Lionel Hollins played for Dixie College from 1971-73 before going on to play for two years at Arizona State, where he became the No. 6 pick in the NBA draft and played a decade for the Portland Trailblazers.
The other Arizona State retired jerseys belong to James Harden, Alton Lister, Joe Caldwell, Fat Lever and Eddie House.
UTE NOTES: Next up for Utah is No. 14-ranked Arizona Saturday afternoon (3:30 p.m.) at McKale Center. ... After winning their first 12 games and rising to No. 3 in the nation, the Sun Devils lost three of their first four Pac-12 games with losses to Arizona, Colorado and Oregon. ... The Utes have been outrebounded in all but one league game this year and were outboarded 46-39 Thursday night. ... For the 11th time this year, the Utes made at least 10 3-pointers, finishing 14 for 32 on the night