LAS VEGAS (AP) — Strong games by Jahii Carson and Carrick Felix weren’t enough to help Arizona State get past No. 14 Creighton.
Carson had a season-high 30 points and Felix added another 17, but the Sun Devils fell 87-73 at the Las Vegas Invitational on Saturday.
The Sun Devils got within six points three times in the second half, the last time when Evan Gordon hit two free throws to cut the lead to 77-71 with 2:51 left.
However, Eric Wragge answered with a 3-pointer from the right corner with 2:22 left to put the Bluejays up 80-71 and Arizona State never recovered.
Carson’s 30 points beat his previous high of 21 against Cornell on Nov. 20.
Jordan Bachynski added eight points for the Sun Devils and Jonathan Gilling and Chris Colvin had six each. Gilling had six rebounds and Colvin and Carrick had five each.
“(Carson) played a tremendous game. He scored and he got assists. He really had a tremendous performance,” Sun Devils coach Herb Sendak said.
“We cut the lead significantly a couple of times, but we couldn’t get it under six. Every time we got it to six, something happened. The see-saw tilted against us. We lost a hard-fought game to a good team today,” Sendak said.
“I try to bring as much energy as I can for my team to feed on,” Carson said.
Arizona State (4-1) was down at the half 45-36.
Doug McDermott scored 29 points with nine rebounds to lead the scoring for Creighton.
McDermott, the tournament’s MVP, was 10 of 19 from the field for the Bluejays (6-0).
Ethan Wragge added 13 points, hitting three 3-pointers for Creighton.
In addition to his season-high 30 points, Carson also had seven assists and four steals. He was 10 of 11 from the free-throw line.
After trailing 45-36 at halftime, the Sun Devils cut it to 59-53 on Carson’s three-point play with 12:21 to play.
The Bluejays outscored the Sun Devils in second-chance points, 14-0.
Creighton scored the game’s first seven points and built a 27-9 advantage with 11:53 until halftime.
The Sun Devils responded with a 13-0 run. Arizona State cut the lead 37-31, but got no closer the rest of the half.