TEMPE, Ariz. — Jordan Bachynski saw the play developing and slid across the lane, reaching out just as the ball hit the apex.
With one big swat, Arizona State’s massive center had kept the Sun Devils undefeated.
Bachynski had his sixth straight double-double and 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.
“I knew as he was coming around the corner, I knew he was going to take it,” said Bachynski, who had 14 points and 11 rebounds. “I just leaped over, jumped and prayed and blocked the shot.”
He did, giving Arizona State its biggest win of the young season.
Arizona State (6-0) got off to a great start, withstood a late rally by the Golden Eagles and pulled it out behind its defense.
With the Sun Devils leading 78-77, Jermaine Marshall hit 1 of 2 free throws with 7 seconds left, giving Marquette a final shot.
The Golden Eagles (3-2) raced up the floor and Wilson managed to get into the lane, but the 7-foot-2 Bachynski roamed across the lane to knock the ball away before being swarmed by teammates as he lie on the floor.
Jahii Carson had 23 points and five assists and Marshall had 23 points for Arizona State, off to its best start since opening the 1980-81 season with seven straight wins.
“We’re not fazed by anybody,” said Carson, who sat the final 7 minutes of the first half with two fouls. “We feel like we can come out and play with anybody. I think we have the top guys in the country at each position and we want to go out there and show it.”
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 for Marquette.
“I think I had a good opportunity,” Wilson said. “I saw the big fellow a little bit late, but looked at the clock and saw that there were only three seconds left so I had to take the shot. It was a good look, he just made the better play.”
Marquette has gotten off to a slow start offensively this season, averaging 67 points per game and shooting 18 percent from the 3-point line, but have made up for it with defense and rebounding.
Playing at a faster tempo this season, Arizona State has had no trouble scoring, averaging 86 points during its best start in three decades.
The Sun Devils came out firing against Marquette, too, 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.
“Not to sound silly, but any-time you go on the road in an ambiance (loud arena) like this it is a little bit of a change,” Marquette coach Buzz Williams said. “I don’t think we panicked, but obviously we didn’t start very good.”
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.
“You never like to see that,” Sendek said. “Someone could get hurt … and in a game like this, you don’t want to give away points.
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, thanks to Bachynski.