Fork Report: Sun Devils take down Detroit in NIT opener

Mar 21, 2013, 4:43 AM | Updated: 5:23 am

TEMPE — The Arizona State Sun Devils used a 41-16 run to open up a 25-point lead in the first half and cruised to an 83-68 win over the Detroit Titans in the first round of the NIT at Wells Fargo Arena.

Detroit’s Jason Calliste hit two free throws to tie the score at 4-4 early in the contest, but the Sun Devils then erupted for the next 14 points which included two three-pointers from reserve junior guard Evan Gordon.

To their credit, the Titans regrouped in the second half and got to within nine points when Doug Anderson threw down a dunk with 12:58 remaining.

Jahii Carson scored 22 points, grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds and handed out seven assists while senior Carrick Felix, possibly playing in his last game in Tempe, added 21 points and seven boards.

The third-seeded Sun Devils moved their record to 22-12 and will head to Waco, Texas to face second-seeded Baylor Friday night. The Bears crushed Long Beach State 112-66 in their tournament opener Wednesday.

The Good:

The Sun Devils came out with a high energy level, and dominated play in the first half. In fact, ASU outrebounded Detroit 27-6 in the first half and held the Titans (20-13) to just 22.2 percent shooting before the break. If not for Detroit’s fine free throw shooting (15-for-15 in first half), the Devils would have waltzed to an even easier win.

ASU’s free throw shooting, which had been an Achilles heel all season long, was pretty stellar in its own right. The Devils hit on 85.7 percent (24-of-28) from the stripe in the win. Center Jordan Bachynski, a 57 percent foul shooter on the season, hit all eight of his attempts against Detroit on his way to a 16-point night.

Detroit came into the game ranked eighth in the nation in scoring at 78.1 points per game, but ASU’s defense held the Titans ten under their season average.

The Bad:

ASU was sloppy with the basketball. The Sun Devils committed a season-high 24 turnovers that led to 27 Detroit points. Their previous high was 18, which occurred twice — against Creighton and Arkansas-Pine Bluff in consecutive games in November.

The Devils also committed 22 fouls, which helped Detroit live at the free throw line. The Titans hit 26-of-27 free tosses on the night.

He Said It:

“I didn’t even know. Well, dang! How many,” asked Carson when notified he broke James Harden’s ASU freshman record for most 20-point games in a season with 17. “Wow, I’m speechless about it. I don’t try to go out there and get points, I just try to go out there and attack the basket.”


• In their last three games, ASU is shooting a very respectable 82 percent (55-of-67) from the free throw line. “We started practicing them,” ASU head coach Herb Sendek joked after the game. “We didn’t think it was important to practice all year and we started. And now what we’re gonna do the next chance we have to practice is we’re gonna work on our free throw shooting defense, because they were 26-out of-27.”

• Carson’s double-double was the first of his Sun Devil career.

• In the late stages of the game, the student section was chanting for Sendek to put senior walk-on Joey Hormes in the game. Sendek applauded the student section in his postgame presser, but didn’t put Hormes in. The Phoenix Valley Christian High product has played in only one game this season — a one-minute stint against Creighton in November.

What’s Next:

The Sun Devils play Baylor Friday night in Waco in a second round NIT matchup. Tip-off is 7:00 CST, 5:00 in Phoenix.

Penguin Air

Arizona State Basketball

(AP Photo/Ralph Freso)...
Arizona Sports

Pac-12 exploring all expansion options with USC, UCLA heading to Big Ten

The Pac-12 is looking into expansion following the decisions from USC and UCLA on Thursday to head to the Big Ten as early as 2024.
20 hours ago
Basketballs are rolled off the court during the NCAAB game at McKale Center on January 03, 2022 in ...
Arizona Sports

Arizona ‘extremely disappointed’ in USC, UCLA leaving Pac-12 for Big Ten

The Arizona Wildcats broke their silence Friday regarding USC's and UCLA's plans to leave the Pac-12 for the Big Ten as early as 2024.
20 hours ago
UCLA plays Oregon during a Pac-12 NCAA college football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., ...
Arizona Sports

UCLA, USC to leave Pac-12 for Big Ten in 2024

UCLA and USC will be leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten, beginning in the 2024-25 season, the two schools confirmed on Thursday evening.
2 days ago
Arizona State guard Shannon Evans II (11) celebrates with the cheering crowd after a making basket ...
Wills Rice

ESPN’s Gasaway: ASU, Arizona’s best basketball transfers wins

ESPN’s John Gasaway took a stab at what he thought to be the best transfers in and out of each basketball program in Pac-12 history.
1 month ago
Pac-12 logo on the field during the NCAAF game at Sun Devil Stadium on November 09, 2019 in Tempe, ...
Associated Press

Pac-12 Conference suffers 36% decrease in revenue in 2020-21

The Pac-12 suffered a 36% decrease in revenue for the 2020-21 fiscal year due to pandemic-related cancellations in football and basketball.
1 month ago
Frankie Collins #10 of the Michigan Wolverines drives to the basket against Fatts Russell #4 of the...
Arizona Sports

Arizona State lands Michigan transfer, former 4-star recruit Frankie Collins

Point guard Frankie Collins will transfer to Arizona State after playing one season at Michigan, he announced on Twitter.
2 months ago
Fork Report: Sun Devils take down Detroit in NIT opener