Doug McDermott and Ethan Wragge made sure the Las Vegas Invitational’s title would not slip away from the Creighton Bluejays.
McDermott scored 29 points with nine rebounds, while Wragge had 13 points to lead No. 14 Creighton over Arizona State 87-73 to win the Las Vegas Invitational on Saturday night.
McDermott, the tournament’s MVP, was 10 of 19 from the field for the Bluejays (6-0).
”I like the fact that he’s not comfortable with his 3-point shot so he goes into the post and he’s hitting his free throws,” Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. ”I’d like to get him off the court and give him some more rest. He gives me dirty looks (when taking him out). I like the way he rebounded. He was aggressive there tonight.”
Wragge hit three 3-pointers for Creighton, including a right-corner shot with 2:22 left. That started a 7-0 run to seal it after the Sun Devils cut the lead to six.
”I got some rhythm and confidence tonight. It’s tough playing back to back,” said Wragge, whose team defeated Wisconsin Friday night in the third round. ”We got some older guys. Coach had a good game plan. It was an up and down game.”
Freshman Jahii Carson led Arizona State (4-1) with a season-high 30 points. He also had seven assists and four steals. He was 10 of 11 from the free-throw line.
”I tried to bring as much energy as I can for our team to feed on,” Carson said. ”(Creighton) is an elite team, but we were right there the whole time. We had some (runs). Their hustle kept us from bringing their down farther.”
Carrick Felix finished with 17 points and five rebounds for Arizona State.
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 answered with the next eight points as the Sun Devils never came closer than six the rest of the game.
”We cut the lead significantly a couple times,” Arizona State coach Herb Sendek said. ”Every time we got it six, something happened. The see-saw tilted against us. (Creighton) is experienced and extremely well coached. They play very hard and play very smart. They are very difficult to defend.”
Arizona State cut the lead to six late in the final minutes.
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.
McDermott, a junior, passed 1,500 career points Saturday. He has 1,508 points and is averaging 21 per game this season.
This is the first time since 1928-29 that the Bluejays have won their first six games by double digits.