FULLERTON, Calif. — Arizona State thoroughly outclassed the College of Charleston in every facet of the game except for the rebounds — which the Cougars spent plenty of time chasing down because of their own dreadful shooting.
Jahii Carson scored 21 points on 10-for-16 shooting and dished out seven assists to lead the Sun Devils to an 80-58 rout of on Friday night in the second round of the Wooden Legacy at Cal State Fullerton.
“I try to make my teammates better by finding the open man and pushing the basketball in transition,” Carson said. “I feel that it was one of my better games defensively and in controlling the tempo. I knew that I’m one of the leaders on this team. And a lot of times when we face adversity, the team looks up to me.”
Jordan Bachynski had 16 points, Jonathan Gilling 15 and Egor Koulechov 12 for Arizona State (7-1).
“I was really proud of our guys for the way they bounced back on a very quick turnaround,” coach Herb Sendek said. “I thought we played an excellent basketball game tonight. We got good contributions from a lot of guys. I think our defense just really pretty solid. The one area that hurt us throughout the game was our rebounding. That’s one thing we continue to be challenged with.”
Charleston (2-5) was led by Anthony Stitt with 12 points. The Cougars outrebounded Arizona State 41-24 — 18-3 on the offensive glass — but shot only 36 percent from the field and committed 15 turnovers that were converted into 22 points.
“We really rebounded the ball and were pretty active,” Charleston coach Doug Wojcik said. “I appreciate my kids’ effort. I give them a lot of credit. My teams have always been pretty good rebounding teams. Wishon, our big man, played his best college game.”
The Sun Devils extended a 1-point lead to 61-43 with a 25-11 run capped by Gilling’s 3-pointer with 10:47 to play. It was one of five treys they made during the rally, including a pair by Koulechov. The Cougars never got any traction offensively against the hot-shooting Sun Devils, who finished 54 percent from the field.
“They’re really skilled at those winged positions,” Wojcik said. “Carson can shoot the pull up off the ball screens really well. I thought we did a great job on (Jermaine) Marshall, but the other kids hurt us. Carson really controlled the game. He can score, but then he really distributes the ball well. He’s a high-level point guard and a really good player, but Gilling hit all those threes. That’s where we really lost the game.”
Neither team led by more than six points in the first half, and Arizona State held a 36-30 advantage at intermission with 12 points by Gilling and 11 from Carson. Charleston missed its first five 3-point attempts, ending the drought when Stitt connected 14 seconds into the second half. The Cougars finished 3 for 13 from behind the arc.
“I thought we started the first half with a lot of energy and intensity. The second half, we tried to make a run but they had too much for us,” Stitt said. “(Carson) could attack our big man, and he had a 7-foot-2 dude that was rolling to the basket that he could throw the ball to if he needed to.”