In his two seasons as starting point guard, Jahii Carson has consistently proven he can score with the best of them.
But after dishing a career-high 13 assists in Arizona State's 76-62 win over Texas Tech, Carson showed why he is one of the best guards in the country.
The Sun Devils also got a huge boost from shooting guard Jermaine Marshall who finished with a season-high 27 points and shot 7-10 from three-point range.
The Red Raiders, on the other hand, shot an abysmal 1-13 from deep and 36.4 percent from the field.
Despite the shooting woes for the Red Raiders, they still had a chance in the second half. With 12:11 left to play in the game, Texas Tech's Jaye Crockett hit a pair of free throws to cut the Sun Devils' lead to 50-43. Arizona State center Jordan Bachynski was playing with three fouls and Texas Tech was beginning to find open players in the paint.
However, that was as close as Texas Tech would get to the lead, as the Sun Devils went on a 14-4 run in the span of 5:41 to put the game out of reach.
During the run, Marshall hit two three-pointers, and forward Shaquielle McKissic furiously slammed down an alley-oop from Carson to dash the Red Raiders' hopes of orchestrating a comeback.
In the first half, Texas Tech set the tone early with their inside scoring. Bachynski got into early foul trouble, and this led to the Red Raiders having a 25-16 rebounding edge in the first half.
With 3:25 left to play the Red Raiders held a 25-24 point lead, and the Sun Devils were struggling to hit shots. To make matters worse, Bachynski was on the bench and backup center Eric Jacobsen had to be taken to the locker room to get stitches on a cut above his eye.
Rather than subbing in forward Richie Edwards to give the Sun Devils more size, head coach Herb Sendek opted to go with a small lineup. Forward Jonathan Gilling was their tallest player on the floor, at six-foot-seven. This smaller, but quicker lineup stifled Texas Tech offensively with their man-to-man defense. The Sun Devils closed out the half on a 10-0 run to take the 34-25 lead.
- Forward Jordan Tolbert led all Red Raiders in scoring with 25 points
- Carson recorded the second double-double of his career. His previous one came against Detroit in the first round of the NIT.
- Sendek and Texas Tech head coach Tubby Smith were previously both assistants under Rick Pitino at Kentucky.