Before Arizona State’s men’s basketball team took on Cal State Northridge Saturday afternoon at Wells Fargo Arena, Jahii Carson tweeted to over 6,000 followers, “Gameday, let’s eat.” ASU certainly got their fill as Jordan Bachynski recorded the first triple-double in Arizona State history (13 points, 12 rebounds, 13 blocks) as the Sun Devils defeated the Matadors 87-76.
Bachysnki scored the first points of the day for the Sun Devils and had a block in the first possession in what was only a sign of things to come.
“It was a long road…the development that I’ve gone under, it’s just a testament to the great coaching staff here,” Bachynski said. “No one ever taught me how to block.”
“Obviously a career night for Jordan…usually when you see a triple-double, it’s points, rebounds and assists. Rarely do you see it when someone gets 10 or more blocked shots,” head coach Herb Sendek said. “When you have a shot blocker like that, it’s not only the ones he gets but the opponent can’t help but start thinking about it a little bit.”
ASU got out to an 8-0 lead early, but Cal State Northridge chipped away at the lead with two 8-0 runs of their own to cut the ASU lead to 29-26 with 5:10 remaining in the first half as Carrick Felix sat with two fouls.
As soon as Felix returned to the court, his two breakaway dunks helped the Sun Devils spark another run of their own and head into halftime with a 41-31 lead.
“This being my last year I definitely feel like I have a lot to play for, a little chip on my shoulder, just to be the energy guy for the team and make hustle plays because when it comes down to it, it’s going to be the little plays that win the game: the tipped balls, loose balls, offensive rebounds just the little things so we try to do that,” said Felix.
More back and forth action was on the menu in the second half as CSU Northridge kept the game within 10 points. With under 5 minutes to play, though, an 8-2 run helped ASU stretch their lead to 79-62 and the Sun Devils never looked back.
“We’re still leaving far too many points out there…we knew we had to take care of the ball…we had a great deal of respect for Northridge so we knew we had to play well today,” Sendek said.
Arizona State’s entire starting line-up finished with double-digit points and freshman phenom Jahii Carson led all scorers with 21 points, adding six assists to the winning effort. The Sun Devils’ backcourt was on fire, as Carson and Evan Gordon combined for 41 of the Sun Devils 87 points.
The team shot 51% from the field and 64.3% (27-42) from the line in the win. ASU was out-rebounded once again this season, this time 42 to 32. Stephan Hicks (18 points) was the leading scorer for Cal State Northridge who fell to 7-3 on the season with the loss.
Jordan Bachynski was excited about the Sun Devil’s prospects for the rest of the year. “Basketball is a game of momentum and if we can continue to build our momentum into the Pac-12 season, we’re going to be unstoppable,” Bachynski said.
ASU plays DePaul at Wells Fargo Arena next Wednesday at 7 p.m.