The Bears length and overall size was noticeable against the Sun Devils who held their own on the glass for the majority of the game, but couldn't keep Baylor off the boards in the final ten minutes as they went on their run that would give them the lead and the victory.
"Even if we block out, rebounding against Baylor was going to be difficult," Coach Herb Sendek pointed out. "They miss 17 shots and they got seven back. Once again, I don't think our guys were unaware or giving pour effort on the glass, I think we met a hell of a rebounding team tonight that we tried to battle on the glass."
"I don't know what the rebounds were tonight, but I know at least through the first ten minutes of the second half it was even or we were out rebounding them," Senior guard Derek Glasser said. "I don't know what we finished, but it seemed like for the most part we did a pretty good job on the boards and then in the last ten minutes when they made their run is when they dominated the offensive glass."
Baylor out-rebounded the Devils 30-18 in the game and their size created problems for ASU on numerous occasions driving through the lane as well, forcing ASU to shoot 30 three-point attempts, on which they only converted ten.
"We took a lot of threes, but that's what the game demanded to be honest with you," Sendek declared. "They average over six blocked shots a game and when you drive to the basket they're sending two or three guys there, you saw for example when Derek drove and he got it to the cup and he didn't pass it out, and they're at the rim and make it a really difficult challenge and it was a blocked shot and the transition goes the other way."
Things got a little chippy when Glasser and LaceDarius Dunn after Glasser hit a jump shot and the two got into it coming down the floor. Both players were assessed technicals.
"I didn't even see the replay," Glasser admitted, "but I was just running back and I got pushed in the back, so I just turned around and they gave double techs. They said because we looked at each other [confrontationally]." The game against Baylor brings back memories from last year that Glasser remembers all too well.
"We just couldn't get a stop," Glasser said bluntly. "We held them to 24 in the first half, and the got 40 in the second half and it was kind of like what they did to us last year, we held them to 30-something in the first half and then they scored 50 in the second half last year. Credit to them, they made adjustments and whatever they did at halftime I guess worked."
The Sun Devils saw early on in the game Baylor employing a zone defense run by ASU, but as the game progressed they moved to man and were still able to keep the Devils off balance.
"I thought they did a good job guarding us in their man-to-man," Sendek remarked. "I know their length and their size was different. Having said that I still think we probably had enough open shots, if we convert a higher percentage to still win the game, provided that we would've done a better job on the defensive end and then the x-factor obviously was (Tweety) Carter.
"Seven out of nine from three, the one at the end of the shot clock when we were draped over him stands out. He was the x-factor; he was the difference in the game from behind the arc for them."
Glasser pointed out that they knew Baylor would go to man and the defense wasn't as much of a problem as the Devils just missed open shots.
Jerren Shipp gave the Devils a spark off the bench the first half, scoring 12 points, and was a big reason why the team had a lead going into halftime.
"My teammates did a good job of getting me the ball," Shipp said humbly. "I just took the open shots I had and tried to give the team a lift off the bench. Baylor played a great game and unfortunately we couldn't get the win."