Bachynski, Felix Lead Arizona St. Past UCLA 78-60
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Arizona State rode the inside play of Jordan Bachynski and Carrick Felix to defeat UCLA 78-60 on Saturday and complete a sweep of the Los Angeles schools this week.
Bachynski had 22 points and 15 rebounds, while Felix added 23 points and 11 rebounds as the Sun Devils (16-4, 5-2 Pac-12) dominated the Bruins inside the lane. Arizona State outscored UCLA 46-26 in the paint and outrebounded the Bruins 52-33.
“Coach told us we had two keys in order to win: One was rebounding and the other was win 50-50 balls. I took that to heart,” said Bachynski, who also had six blocked shots. “I kind of struggled on the boards this year and I knew that’s where I had to step it up. I just took it personally. I went after every board I could.”
Arizona State coach Herb Sendek liked what he saw of Bachynski’s aggressive play.
“He played with a level of aggressiveness, not just in terms of his rebounding and shot blocks… He just had a good aggressive coat of armor on all day and that allowed him to play at a particularly good level for us,” Sendek said.
Arizona State, which has won eight of its past 10 games, was coming off a 98-93 overtime win over USC on Thursday.
For UCLA (16-5, 6-2), the week was good and bad. The Bruins followed an 84-73 upset of No. 6 Arizona on Thursday with their worst shooting game of the season against the Devils.
“Give them credit, they did everything that they had to do, including beating us on the boards by 20, and a lot of that was we took a number of bad shots that led to blocked shots or easy rebounds for them,” UCLA coach Ben Howland said. “As good as we were Thursday, we weren’t that good today.”
The Bruins were also without big man Travis Wear, who averages 12.2 points per game and had 15 points and eight rebounds Thursday before sitting out with a concussion on Saturday.
Bachynski hadn’t scored in double figures in the last three games and didn’t have more than six rebounds in any of them. He had eight offensive rebounds Saturday and made 10 of 12 from the field, all from inside.
“I knew what I had to do,” Bachynski said. “That just comes down to me understanding just the patience I need to develop my basketball game, to have the basketball IQ to know what to do in a particular game against different defenders.”
Jordan Adams scored 19 points and Shabazz Muhammad had 18 for UCLA. The Bruins, who were the best-shooting team in the conference going into the game, shot just 35 percent from the field against the Devils, including 11 of 38 in the second half.
UCLA started the game missing eight of its first 10 shots and the Sun Devils continued to find Bachynski under the basket in taking a 39-33 lead at the half. Bachynski had 14 points and nine rebounds at the break as Arizona State outscored UCLA 28-12 in the lane.
The Sun Devils began the second half on a 17-7 run, taking a 56-40 lead with 11:17 remaining. UCLA never got closer than nine.
“We had a little strategy on me helping out Carrick and helping out Evan (Gordon), so I think us doing a good job on the defensive end stopped them from coming back,” said Arizona State guard Jahii Carson, the fifth-leading scorer in the Pac-12.
Carson was limited to 12 points on 4 of 16 shooting Saturday, under his average of 17.5 points a game, but he did have eight assists.
“It was just one of those days that everybody did his job and everybody contributed in a really positive way,” Sendek said. “The defensive end of the floor more than anything probably was the difference for us.”
The Bruins had swept the last four games against Arizona State over the past two seasons.
“We were really outplayed today,” Howland said. “They did all the tough things, they were good at both ends of the floor.”