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TEMPE, Ariz. – Jahii Carson scored 23 points and Jordan Bachynski swatted Derrick Wilson's runner at the buzzer for his seventh block, helping Arizona State knock off No. 25 Marquette 79-77 on Monday night to remain undefeated.
The Sun Devils (6-0) led by 15 in the first half, but had to withstand a late rally by the Golden Eagles.
With Arizona State leading 78-77 Jermaine Marshall hit 1 of 2 free throws with 7 seconds left, giving Marquette (3-2) a final shot.
Wilson managed to get into the lane, but the 7-foot-2 Bachynski roamed across the lane to knock the ball away, then was swarmed by teammates as he lie on the floor.
Bachynski had 14 points and 11 rebounds, and Marshall had 23 points for Arizona State, off to its best start since opening the 1980-81 season with seven straight wins.
Marquette got off to a miserable start offensively without injured leading scorer Todd Mayo before fighting its way back behind Jake Thomas in the second half.
The senior guard missed all three of his 3-pointers in the first half, but made 5 of 9 in the second to help the Golden Eagles erase a 10-point halftime deficit.
Thomas scored all of his 16 points in the second half, Davante Gardner had 18 and Wilson had 12 with seven assists.
Marquette has gotten off to a slow start offensively, averaging 67 points per game despite a 114-point outburst against Grambling State. The Golden Eagles mustered 35 and shot 19 percent in their only loss, to Ohio State, and are shooting 38 percent from the field, including 18 percent from 3-point range, and 62 percent on free throws.
Marquette has made up for it with defense and rebounding, holding teams to 58 points and 34 percent shooting while pulling down 43 boards per game.
The Sun Devils have had no trouble scoring in their best start in nearly three decades.
Playing at a faster tempo this season, Arizona State is scoring 86 points per game, led by Carson, who scored 40 points against UNLV on Nov. 19 and is averaging 29.5 per game.
The Sun Devils came out firing, making five of their first six shots, including four 3-pointers — two by Carson — on an opening 14-3 run.
The Golden Eagles struggled early without Mayo, who averages 13.8 points per game, missing seven of their first eight shots.
Marquette started hitting a few shots midway through the half and whittled Arizona State's lead down to 35-29. The Sun Devils fought back despite Carson and Jonathan Gilling having to sit with foul trouble and led 43-33 at halftime.
Marquette fought back quickly in the second half.
Thomas hit pair of 3-pointers, Jamil Wilson added another and Jajuan Johnson sailed in for a breakaway dunk after a steal to get the Golden Eagles within two.
It got a little ugly for Arizona State after that.
Marshall was hit with a technical foul for taunting after scoring on a drive and the fans added another by throwing a glow stick onto the floor for the second time. Arizona State coach Herb Sendek told the crowd to stop, then grabbed the microphone again after the technical foul was called, slamming it down onto the table in disgust.
Gardner hit three free throws on the technicals, cutting Arizona State's lead to 58-57.
Carson tried to pull the Sun Devils away, scoring nine points with a couple of assists.
Thomas matched him from long distance, releasing almost as soon as he touched the ball, dropping in his fourth and fifth 3-pointers to keep the Golden Eagles within 74-71.
Marquette had three chances to tie or take the lead in the final minute, but came up short.