GAME NOTES: In one of their final non-league bouts, the Arizona State Sun Devils will go up against the Texas Tech Raiders at Wells Fargo Arena on Saturday.
There are only a few more tests left for Texas Tech before it also delves into its league slate. The Red Raiders have dropped two of their last three contests, with the most recent contest ending in a 71-69 home loss to LSU. They have also lost each of their two true road contests. Texas Tech hosts Mount St. Mary's next before opening Big 12 play against No. 17 Iowa State.
As for Arizona State, it is coming into this contest with wins in three of its last four duels. The Sun Devils have been piling up the wins and at 9-2 overall, have a chance at pushing their total to double digits on Saturday. The next three games will also be at home for Arizona State, which is 6-0 at Wells Fargo Arena.
Jahii Carson scored 18 points and handed out eight assists to carry the Sun Devils over Texas Tech, 77-62, last season. That win, which coincidentally was the 10th of the campaign for the Sun Devils, was also their fifth straight against the Red Raiders. However, Texas Tech does lead the all-time series, 22-20.
Texas Tech trailed 71-62, with 3:28 to play against LSU. The Red Raiders were able to force three turnovers down the stretch and pull off a 7-0 run, but they came up short when Robert Turner's 3-point attempt at the buzzer was off the mark.
Jaye Crockett scored 18 points in the losing effort, including a clutch 3-pointer in the final minutes. The 6-foot-7 forward is leading the team in scoring (14.1 ppg) and is tied for the top spot on the boards (6.2 rpg). Jordan Tolbert (11.5 ppg, 6.2 rpg) is also doing good work on the glass, while serving as the second-best scoring option. However, Tolbert was limited to just four points against LSU. Turner (10.8 ppg) netted 14 points in the loss to the Tigers. It was just his second game in double figures in the last seven outings. Texas Tech is scoring 73.2 points per game and shooting at a 47.5 percent rate from the field as a team.
Arizona State ran into and then ran over Grambling State in its last outing. The Sun Devils sank 63.5 percent of their attempts from the field and owned a 44-30 edge on the glass to post the 97-55 triumph. Leading the way were Shaquielle McKissic (19 points) and Jordan Bachynski (15 points, 14 rebounds, five blocks).
Bachynski can really do it all as a low-post player. He is averaging a double-double (12.9 ppg, 10.0 rpg) and connecting on 65.9 percent of his field goal tries. Then on defense, the 7-foot-2 center is blocking 4.5 shots per game. His 50 total blocks this season are more than eight teams in the Pac-12 and 277 at the Division I level. Jahii Carson (19.9 ppg, 5.2 apg) is another impressive player on the roster. The 5-foot-10 guard leads the team in scoring and assists. Carson finished with 14 points and six assists against Grambling State. Jermaine Marshall (14.9 ppg) provides additional scoring as a consistent shooter (.509).
When Texas Tech is successful it is able to bully teams down low. That won't be happening on Saturday with Bachynski patrolling the paint. That will leave the Red Raiders' backcourt to keep up with Carson and Marshall. At Wells Fargo Arena, that is too tall an order.
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