Dec. 8, 2012
By Jordan Parry, ASU Media Relations Student Intern
Someone ate his Wheaties this morning.
Thanks to 7'2" junior center Jordan Bachynski, ASU now has its first triple-double in men's basketball history. Bachynski's effort fueled the Sun Devils to their fourth-straight victory, 87-76.
After the coming-out game for Eric Jacobsen Wednesday night against Hartford, Bachynski quickly proved that he still is the man to hold down the paint for the Sun Devils. Bachynski got the first basket of the game on a hook shot and then blocked a shot on the on the other end, leading to an Evan Gordon three-pointer. Bachynski then recorded another block, giving him two in the first 2:15 of the game. There was a lot more where that came from.
Bachynski entered today's game second in the nation in blocks at 4.75 per game, behind only Kansas's Jeff Withey, who records 5.7 blocks per game. He had seven blocks in the first half.
Gordon then drove the baseline for ASU and put in a layup to make it 7-0, forcing Cal State Northridge head coach Bobby Braswell to call a timeout only 2:44 into the game.
The Matadors fought back, though, and closed the gap to 15-12 with a basket by freshman center Brandon Perry at the second official timeout.
This woke up the Sun Devil's star, freshman Jahii Carson.
Carson twice blew by Matador defenders for easy layups, and when he tried a third time kicked it out to Jonathan Gilling as the defenders collapsed. Gilling drained the open three, making it 20-12 ASU. On the next possession Carson again took the ball to the hole, this time converting on a spinning layup and drawing the foul. He hit the ensuing free throw for an 11-point lead.
Carson had seven points and four assists at the half.
The Matadors responded with a three-pointer by Josh Green, but were quickly countered by another three from Gordon, who started the game 3-3 from behind the arc and 4-4 from the field. Gordon finished the first half with 14 points, leading all scorers, on 5-7 shooting (4-6 from three).
Clawing their way back, Cal State Northridge picked up their defense a little over midway through the first half, forcing turnovers and coming away with stops, as they shrunk the 11-point deficit to three at 29-26. However, Sun Devil senior Carrick Felix assured the crowd that they would not get any closer than that.
Felix, who has excited the crowd many times with dunks this year, ignited them and brought them to their feet once again with two powerful slam dunks in the span of only 19 seconds. Then, with just over two minutes to go in the half, Felix threw down his third dunk of the contest, this time in fashion with a windmill as he led the pack down the court on a fast break.
This brought the lead back to 11, and the Sun Devils controlled a 41-31 lead as they headed to the locker room. Entering today, ASU had averaged 38 points in the first half.
ASU is 8-1 for just the fourth time in 38 seasons. Here are ASU's 8-1 starts since it started 15-1 in 1974-75:
Starting the second half, Bachynski wasted no time enforcing his presence on the defensive end, recording three blocks in the first two minutes to bring him to ten. His ten blocks broke the Arizona State record of nine, which also came at the hands of himself, during the season opener against Central Arkansas on Nov. 10.
As Bachysnki went, so did ASU, as a Felix baseline lay-in extended the lead to 53-39 with 15:37 to go in the second half, forcing the Matadors to again call a timeout.
With a short jump hook after the timeout, Bachynski improved his numbers to 11 points, 10 rebounds and 10 blocks, recording the first triple-double in Sun Devil history with 14:42 still to play. The feat he missed by only one block in the season-opener is now etched into the record books with his name. He finished the game with 13 points on 5-6 shooting, 12 rebounds and 12 blocks.
According to the Pac-12, Bachynski's triple-double was the first in the Pac-12 since USC's Daniel Hackett recorded 22 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists on Nov. 17, 2007.
Cal State Northridge answered by going on a 7-0 run and cutting the lead to eight, but a jumper from Carson and a layup by Felix, which bounced around the rim for a few seconds, extended the lead back to double digits at the second official timeout of the second half.
SUN DEVIL FRESHMEN 20-POINT GAMES
James Harden, 07-08, 16
Ike Diogu, 02-03, 12
Jamal Faulkner, 90-91, 7
Jahii Carson, 12-13, 5
Steve Beck, 83-84, 5
The Matadors could not close the gap, though, as the Sun Devils kept a steady lead throughout the remainder of the game. With 4:08 to play Gilling completed a three-point play, bringing the score to 79-62, capping off another victory for ASU.
Five Sun Devils finished the game with double-digit scoring, led by Carson's 21 points. This is already Carson's fifth time eclipsing 20 points this season. James Harden holds the record for most 20-point games by an ASU freshman with 16. Carson also had six assists and was 11-14 from the free throw line.
Gordon finished with 20 points on 6-9 shooting, while Felix finished with 17 points going 6-8 from the field. Gilling chipped in 12 points all from three-pointers.
Arizona State improves to 8-1 for the fourth time in 38 seasons. The other seasons they were 8-1 were in 2008-09 (12-1), 2004-05 (11-1) and 1990-91 (9-1). Last season ASU did not pick up their eighth win until Feb. 9, while this year it came on Dec. 8, two full months ahead of last year. Also, last season the Sun Devils were 7-10 at home, while this year they currently stand at 7-0.
ASU continues their home stand Wednesday night as DePaul travels to Tempe for a 7:00 p.m. (MT) tilt. With the loss, Cal State Northridge falls to 7-3.