The fortunes of Arizona State’s basketball team are quickly rising.
The Sun Devils defeated No. 25 Marquette in a 79-77 thriller on Monday night in Tempe. This was a game marked by spectacular plays, frustrating fouls and great personal effort by members of ASU coach Herb Sendek’s team.
A raucous crowd of 9,155 fans created a great basketball environment at Wells Fargo Arena, as the Sun Devils (6-0) overcame a bruising comeback by the Golden Eagles in the second-half to secure a marquee win in the early going of the 2013-2014 season.
ASU sophomore point guard Jahii Carson proved once again that he is one of college hoops’ most dynamic and dangerous players. Carson finished the contest with 23 points and five assists. Senior guard Jermaine Marshall contributed 21 points of his own.
But the spotlight on this night belonged to center Jordan Bachynski. The 7’2” junior posted 14 points and 11 rebounds, his sixth double-double in as many games.
Bachynski’s most important moment came in the final seconds of play, when he blocked a floater by Marquette guard Derrick Wilson to seal the ASU victory.
“As he (Wilson) was coming around the corner, I knew he was going to take it; I just leaped over, jumped and prayed and blocked the shot,” Bachynski explained after the game.
ASU was up by as many as 15 in the first period and held a 43-33 halftime lead. But with Marquette’s improved shooting and rebounding after the break, the Sun Devils ended up hanging on for dear life in the closing moments.
The festive game atmosphere was marred by an incident near the 13-minute mark of the second half. ASU received a technical foul when someone in the crowd threw debris onto the court. The foul resulted in Marquette’s Davante Gardner hitting 3 of 4 foul shots, closing ASU’s lead to 58-57.
Marquette closed the gap to one point several other times during the final five minutes, but the Sun Devils relied on hustling defense to prevail at the buzzer.