UNLV Falls To Arizona State, 86-80
Nov. 20, 2013
By Jesse Granger
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - Despite getting 18 points and 21 rebounds from Roscoe Smith, UNLV was unable to overcome a career night from Arizona State's Jahii Carson.
Jahii Carson scored 40 points to lead Arizona State to an 86-80 win Tuesday night at UNLV.
Carson, whose previous high was 34 points against Stanford in last year's Pac 12 tournament, was 16 of 25 from the field, including 2 of 3 from the 3-point line.
The last Sun Devil to score 40 points in a game was Houston Rockets guard James Harden, who knocked down 40 against UTEP on Nov. 30, 2008. Carson's 40-spot ranks fifth all-time on the Sun Devils all-time single-game list.
"Jahii Carson is a NBA point guard," UNLV coach Dave Rice said. "We made a decision to limit their 3-point shooting and Jahii got away from us a little bit."
UNLV out-rebounded Arizona State 55-48, and outscored the Sun Devils 18-12 in second chance points.
Smith's 20-plus rebound night was his second in a row, as he has had 43 boards in the last two games.
"That's how we're going to be from here on out," Rice said. "Our main goal going into the season, with as many new faces as we have, was to play consistently hard. We certainly gave a tremendous effort tonight and we just made a few too many mistakes down the stretch and we'll shore those things up. We're going to have a very good basketball team."
The Runnin' Rebels closed the gap to three with 4:34 left in the game, but after Carson sank two free throws, ASU's Jermaine Marshall drained a bank shot falling to the ground, then blocked Kevin Olekaibe's shot at the other end, stole the ball and went coast-to-coast to cap a 6-0 run that gave ASU an 81-74 lead with 3:15 left in the game.
The Runnin' Rebels had their chances to stay in the game, but failed to make crucial free throws down the stretch, missing 3 of 6 in the last 6:50. UNLV hit just 15 of 29 (.517) from the free-throw line, including 10 of 19 (.526) in the second half.
"We just need to take our time and catch our breath and just knock `em down," Smith said about the Runnin' Rebels' free throw shooting.
UNLV allowed a season high 86 points to the Sun Devils, who are averaging 90 points per game in their 4-0 start. Arizona State shot 35 of 79 (.443) from the field, including a stellar 20 of 36 (.556) in the second half.
UNLV (2-2) had five players score in double figures, including Khem Birch who was two blocks shy of a triple-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds.
The Runnin Rebels have a week off, before facing 4-0 Illinois next Tuesday at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Associated Press Contributed to this report.
Watch the postgame press conference: