The Arizona State men’s basketball team won a hard-fought game last night with an effort that is being called “gritty”. That’s probably an appropriate description of the Sun Devil’s performance. In truth, Utah played gritty as well. But ASU made enough plays down the stretch to secure the victory.
Coach Herb Sendek’s squad got a “classic” Jahii Carson contribution Thursday night. The sophomore point guard finished 10-22 shooting, but came up big in the final minutes, making tough shots when ASU absolutely needed them. Overall it was another up and down game for Carson. He made some spectacular plays in clutch situations. He also committed some silly turnovers and missed some wild shots. To be fair, Carson’s teammates look to him to create scoring opportunities, and any team’s point guard is always going to commit the most turnovers since they handle the ball more than anyone else.
In an interesting move, coach Sendek had shooting forward Jon Gilling come off the bench for this game, choosing to start the taller Eric Jacobsen. Gilling had a solid game coming off the bench. He scored 13 points by making all five of his shots. Bo Barnes also was effective coming off the bench in support of Shaquielle McKissic and Jermaine Marshall. Marshall did not have his best game. He looked slowed by his injury from last week. However, he did hit 3 free throws in the last minute to seal the victory.
And of course, center Jordan Bachynsky had a “typical Bachynsky” game with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocks. He played big in the paint.
This was a huge win for this ASU team. They had to get back to their winning ways. And they needed to win a game where they were tested. Sun Devil players, coaches and fans will hope that this team can use this victory to jumpstart a win streak that will propel them into the conference tournament.