Different year, similar result.
Thursday night's game in Tempe between Arizona State and Baylor played out much like their match-up last season, when Arizona State had Baylor tied at halftime in the second round of the 76 Classic in Anaheim, Calif. before the Bears' hot shooting took over and ultimately won out.
ASU had a 10-point advantage Thursday, but Baylor used a 14-0 run to take the lead and then hold on late in a 64-61 win in Big-12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series contest at Wells Fargo Arena.
This time around, it was Baylor's Tweety Carter who did much of the damage, scoring 27 points and making 7-of-9 from 3-point range, with most of the bombs coming in the second half, including three during the key run.
"We just couldn't get a stop," Sun Devil guard Derek Glasser said. "We held them to 24 in the first half and they got 40 in the second half. It's kind of like they do to us last year, we held them to 30-something in the first half and they scored 50 (something) in the second half last year."
Baylor switched to a man-to-man defense in the second half, and it contributed to ASU's demise, but more than anything, Sun Devil coach Herb Sendek said, it was the 16-of-25 shooting in the second half that contributed to the visitors coming away with a win.
"I thought they did a good job guarding us in their man-to-man,' Sendek said. "Their length and their size was different. But having said that I still think we probably had enough open shots if we convert a higher percentage to still win the game provided we would have done a better job on the defensive end and then the X-factor obviously was Carter."
All told, Carter had 17 points in the second half, including 5-of-6 from behind the arc.
"The one at the end of the shot clock when we were draped over him stands out," Sendek said. "He was the difference in the game."
ASU was led in the scoring column by junior Rihards Kuksiks, but the sweet-shooting wing wasn't his normal self to start, missing his first five 3-poniters before eventually settling in and finishing 4-of-13 from the distance for 16 points.
Kuksiks almost single-handedly kept the Sun Devils in the game late, scoring 11 straight points over nearly four minutes, with three 3-pointers and a put back layup off a Trent Lockett miss.
Kuksiks gave ASU a 58-58 tie at 1:26 with his last 3-pointer of the night, but Baylor scored inside on its next possession, as ASU center Eric Boateng mistakenly came off Quincy Acy in the paint to attempt to block a shot by Ekpe Udoh, who was already double teamed.
Udoh never took the shot, instead passing to Acy for an uncontested dunk to make it 60-58 Baylor, and after a missed Glasser 3-pointer, the Bears converted two foul shots to stretch the lead to 62-58.
Sun Devil guard Ty Abbott hit a 3-pointer with eight seconds remaining, but Baylor got a leak out dunk on the subsequent out of bounds play and a Glasser 3-point attempt to tie the game at the buzzer fell short.
All told, ASU made 10-of-30 from behind the 3-point arc, and took 60-percent of its shots from the field from the distance.
"We took a lot of 3s but that's what the game demanded to be honest with you," Sendek said. "They average over six blocked shots a game and when you drive it to the basket they're sending two and three guys there."
ASU's first-half started somewhat sluggish, as it attempted to feel its way against Baylor's zone offense. But as it gathered itself and took a 21-20 lead on a Glasser pull up jumper, the senior guard was hit in the back by a purposefully delivered LaceDarius Dunn elbow, resulting in an intentional foul.
Both players were given a technical after a stare down session and ASU used the incident to spark a 13-3 run which afforded a 33-24 lead at halftime.
But Baylor's man-to-man pressure, coupled with an 18-7 second-half advantage on the glass and some timely shooting by Carter proved to be the difference.
Senior Jerren Shipp had 12 points off the bench for ASU as he made 4-of-5 shots from the field and 3-of-4 from behind the 3-point line, all of which came in the first-half.
"My teammates did a good job getting me the ball and I just took the open shots I had and tried to give the team a lift off the bench," Shipp said. "Baylor played a great game, unfortunately we didn't get the win."
It was the most points for Shipp in a game since Dec. 18, 2007, when he had 17 in a win over Montana State.