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Fork Report: Sun Devils dismantle UCLA

TEMPE — Junior center Jordan Bachynski posted a career-high 22 points and 15 rebounds and also blocked six shots as Arizona State soundly beat UCLA 78-60 at Wells Fargo Arena Saturday.

The Sun Devils went early to their big man, who had a decided size advantage against UCLA junior David Wear. Bachynski is four inches taller and 20 pounds heavier than Wear, who had no answer all day long.

The Sun Devils led 39-33 at the half, and built the lead to as many as 14 points before the under 16:00 media timeout.

Carrick Felix added 23 points and 11 rebounds while guards Jahii Carson and Evan Gordon each had 12. Jonathan Gilling scored only 7 points on 2-of-9 shooting, but had 12 rebounds and a career-high 8 assists in the ball game.

ASU moves to 16-4 overall and 5-2 in Pac-12 play while UCLA, who was 12-1 in its last 13 games prior to Saturday, fell to 16-5, 6-2.

The Good – The effort. ASU played an overtime game that started after 8:30 local time Thursday night, and came out Saturday with a high level of energy. That energy was evident throughout the game and highlighted by Carrick Felix’s hustle play in the closing seconds.

Gordon was dribbling the clock out as time waned, and UCLA’s Jordan Adams stole the ball and started upcourt for what would have been a meaningless, stat-padding layup. But Felix sprinted to the defensive end and blocked Adams’ shot from behind as time expired.

ASU’s defense held UCLA to 34.7 percent shooting from the field.

Felix did a commendable job on UCLA super freshman Shabazz Muhammad. Although Muhammad scored 18 points, he did so in just two “microbursts”, scoring 9 points in a span of 3:02 of the first half and 9 more in a 3:58 span in the second.

The Bad – It’s nitpicking because he did so many other things to aid ASU’s cause, but Gilling struggled offensively and has appeared tentative on that end of the floor for the last three games. The Danish sophomore is shooting just 31.8 percent (7-for-22) in his last three contests.

Oh, and those flourescent yellow shoes several members of the UCLA team were wearing — those are bad, too.

He Said It – “Everyone knows I’ve had a slump the past couple games and I know that I can make those baskets, and it’s just applying that to the game because in practice, I never miss and we’re always shooting jump hooks. It just took time, I guess, to get my confidence back.” — ASU center Jordan Bachynski


• Bachynski’s 22 points and 15 rebounds were both career-highs.

• The Sun Devils played their third straight game without reserve guard Chris Colvin, who remains suspended for a violation of team rules.

• Every ASU starter played 30 or more minutes in the game, with Carson logging all 40. Only Ruslan Pateev played more than three minutes off the short Sun Devils’ bench.

• UCLA was without junior Travis Wear, who suffered a concussion Thursday night during the Bruins’ win over Arizona in Tucson. Wear is UCLA’s third-leading scorer on the season, averaging 12.2 points per contest.

What’s Next – ASU hits the road for a two-game trip to the Pacific Northwest. The Devils play Washington State Thursday and Washington on Saturday.

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