ASU Basketball: Sun Devils off to best start since 1985

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona State men's basketball team is off to its best start since the 1985-86 season after defeating the Bradley Braves 70-58.

Once again, point guard Jahii Carson led all Sun Devil players in scoring with 19 points. He also had seven rebounds and five assists.

"He's obviously off to a great start. There can't be many college basketball players off to a better start," head coach Herb Sendek said. "He's doing a lot of different things for us, I'm impressed with his willingness to share the basketball and move the basketball."

As a team, the Sun Devils excelled at passing the ball as they finished with 21 assists on 25 field goals. Center Jordan Bachynski finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds, and forward Jonathan Gilling found his hot hand again as he hit four three-pointers.

"To have a good team, you have to have guys do that," Sendek said. "Every opponent presents different match ups and different situations. The more guys you can have who step up and can contribute, obviously, the stronger your team is going to be."

Bradley, on the other hand, struggled to get production off its bench, and 43 of the team's 58 points came from two players. Forward Tyshon Pickett led all scorers with 23 points and also added five rebounds and four assists.

The Sun Devils struggled out of the gates early. Bradley jumped out to a 14-12 lead just eight minutes into the game. The Sun Devils responded with a 17-1 run over the course of 4:37. This gave the Sun Devils a 29-15 lead. Gilling was perfect from the field and hit three three-pointers in the first half. As a whole, the Sun Devils shot 54 percent in the first half, while Bradley shot 44.6 percent. Arizona State led 43-28 at the half.

In the second half, the Sun Devils never relinquished the lead. However, the team had trouble playing at its usual pace of up-tempo basketball.

"Bradley's a good team and they're in a tough conference," Carson said. "They had the potential to come out and win this basketball game tonight...we weren't used to the slow pace, but I think we handled it pretty well."

The Sun Devils will host Marquette on Monday, and it will be the first time this season they will face a ranked opponent.

"We definitely need to come in with a great mental edge...we think if we can beat those guys, we can get [into] the top 25 and finally get some respect," Carson said.

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