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February 7, 2014

Bachynski breaks blocks record in win

It was only fitting that a late-game start called for late-game heroics.

Senior guard Jermaine Marshall continued to be clutch for the Sun Devils down the stretch, scoring seven points in overtime en route to an ASU 86-82 win over Oregon State in a game that tipped off at 9 p.m. Thursday at Wells Fargo Arena.

With the win, the Sun Devils improve to 17-6 and 6-4 in the Pac-12 while the Beavers dropped to 13-9 and 5-5.

Marshall, who finished with 25 points, four assists and four rebounds, was not the only standout player of the game.

Senior center Jordan Bachynski did a little bit of everything, including setting a Pac-12 record. With his 279th career blocked shot coming in the final minute of regulation, Bachynski moved past former Arizona player Anthony Cook for the most career blocked shots in the Pac-12.

"I'm honored to hold it and it's a tribute to those who laid the foundation," Bachynski said.

"Anytime I can be a presence at the rim whether that's a blocking shot, changing a shot, taking a charge, anytime I can do that for my team, that's huge. And I'm in a system that can let me do that."

Before fouling out with 2:30 left in overtime, Bachynski had 17 points, 15 rebounds and seven blocked shots.

After OSU's senior guard Roberto Nelson made a layup to tie up the game 64-64 with 19.7 seconds left in regulation, the ball was placed in the hands of sophomore point guard Jahii Carson.

Despite having five timeouts left, ASU chose to not call a timeout and set up a play, instead allowing Carson to bring up the ball to create off the dribble.

With a chance to win the game, Carson ran down the clock, settled for a long jumper from the right elbow as time expired.

Going into overtime, the Sun Devils needed production and they needed it fast. Junior forward Jonathan Gilling delivered.

Hitting his first field goal of the night, Gilling's three-pointer with 2:50 left in overtime gave ASU a 72-69 lead and the Sun Devils never looked back. Maintaining their lead for the continuation of overtime, ASU was 3 of 3 from behind the arc and shot 66.7 percent from the field during the extra period.

However, free throws continued to be a problem for the Sun Devils. Going 25 of 40 on the line, ASU almost let one slip away down the stretch. Carson had the most free throws attempts on ASU by far, but only converted 13 of 18 from the line.

Carson ended the night with 23 points, six rebounds and six assists.

The first half was a completely different story for the Sun Devils.

As quiet as the crowd was for the first eight minutes of the game, Arizona State's production in the first half was even quieter.

While the student section stayed silent until ASU scored 13 points in commemoration of ASU alumni James Harden, the silence appeared to change the energetic feeling of playing at home.

"It would be my recommendation that we never do that don't cheer stuff because I think that hurts the whole team," head coach Herb Sendek said. "It doesn't work in my opinion. I would be an advocate of never doing that."

Besides the silence factor in the game, the main issue for the Sun Devils was a lack of energy on defense and missed shots on the offensive end. ASU shot 31 percent from the field in the first half. The Beavers shot 40 percent from the field in the period.

Despite the major difference in scoring percentages for the teams in the first half, ASU stuck with Oregon State heavily because of its lack of turnovers. ASU only had three turnovers in the first half compared to OSU's seven turnovers. The Sun Devils got six points off those turnovers.

Down 29-26 at halftime, ASU came out and started off the second half on a 11-3 run to quickly pull away and take the lead over a resilient Oregon State team.

The second half was clearly better in the scoring department for ASU, going 48.1 percent from the field.

While players like Marshall, Bachynski and Carson stepped up for the Sun Devils, sophomore forward Eric Jacobsen was quickly removed from the picture. Going 1 of 6 from the field in the first half and picking up three first half fouls, Jacobsen finished the game with three points -- all scored in the first half -- and fouled out early.

Coming into the game, ASU was No. 1 in the Pac-12 for three-pointers made as it averaged 8.6 a game. Against Oregon State, ASU was only 1 of 7 from behind the three-point arc in the first half, 5 of 17 on the night.

On the other hand, the Beavers were 4 of 8 from three-point range in the first half, 10 of 16 on the night.

A big reason why the game was so close in the first half was that Pac-12 leading scorer Roberto Nelson was held to just two points in the first half and picked up two first half fouls. However, Nelson did finish with 26 points, almost pulling out the win in Tempe, Ariz.

"It definitely is a gutsy win and it was one we needed," Bachynski said. "I'm glad we responded the way we did and I'm so happy we came out with the win."


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