ASU men’s basketball’s turnaround season came to an end Friday.
In what could be redshirt freshman guard Jahii Carson’s last game in a Sun Devil uniform the Sun Devils fell to Baylor 89-86 in the second round of the NIT. The Sun Devil point guard went 5-of-13 from the field in the game.
Baylor controlled the game by working the ball inside.
The Bears recorded 36 points in the paint.
Turnovers hurt the Sun Devils again and ASU gave up the ball 16 times.
Baylor senior guard Pierre Jackson had a career game for the Bears. The Las Vegas native ended the game with 26 points, 16 rebounds and had 21 free throw attempts.
He also got help from Bears junior forward Cory Jefferson, who put up 21 points and six rebounds.
Baylor opened the game by leading for the first 15 minutes of the first half. ASU went a 12-0 run on four 3-pointers from senior wing Carrick Felix, senior guard Chris Colvin and sophomore forward Jonathan Gilling and went into halftime with a 31-30 advantage.
The second half remained tightly contested, but the turning point of the game came at 6:39 left when Baylor went on an 8-0 run to take the lead with four minutes left in the game.
Down four, ASU played the last four minutes of the game by fouling Baylor and sending the Bears to the free-throw line to stop the clock.
A couple missed Baylor foul shots and 3-pointers from Carson limited the lead to three points.
The Sun Devils couldn’t capitalize and the comeback ended when Carson threw a bad pass to Colvin underneath ASU’s basket in transition.
Carson fouled out with seven seconds left in the game. He finished with 20 points on six rebounds, five assists and six turnovers.
Felix had a solid game of his own in his final match as a Sun Devil. His 23 points and eight rebounds helped Carson counter Baylor’s duo of Jackson and Jefferson.
ASU’s improved foul shooting continued, converting 25 of 31 attempts to end the game with an 80.6 free throw percentage.
Baylor advances to the quarterfinals of the NIT and awaits the winner of Providence vs. Robert Morris on Monday. Robert Morris came up with an upset Tuesday over No. 1 seed Kentucky, the 2012 national champions.
Reach the reporter at email@example.com