Devin Brooks had 23 points off the bench and Doug McDermottadded 27 as No. 20/18 Creighton routed previously unbeaten Arizona State by an 88-60 score to open play at the DirecTV Wooden Legacy on Thursday night.
Creighton improved to 5-0, while Arizona State fell to 6-1. Creighton advances to play San Diego State on Friday at 8:30 pm Central in a winner’s bracket game. The Aztecs defeated College of Charleston, 72-52, earlier in the day.
Arizona State scored first before Creighton answered with a 7-0 run that included hoops from McDermott, Will Artino and Jahenns Manigat. McDermott continued his hot hand, scoring 10 of CU’s next 13 points as the Jays built up a 20-9 lead. Two more buckets from Brooks made it 24-9 at the second media timeout, an eerie similarity to last season’s 27-9 hot start by the Bluejays.
The Sun Devils fought back, getting a trio of three-pointers during a 9-0 run to close within 30-24 before Brooks took over. The reserve guard helped bring CU’s offense back to life, scoring the next eight points, to allow the Jays to extend its lead back to double-figures.
Creighton would lead 45-31 at the break, getting 16 points from McDermott and 13 more from Brooks. The Jays shot 55.2 percent in the opening half, including 5-of-9 from beyond the arc, and outrebounded ASU 19-17. ASU was led by nine points by Jahii Carson in the first half.
Manigat buried a three-pointer on CU’s first possession of the second half, Austin Chatman followed with two foul shots, and Manigat a reverse lay-up to make it 52-31 with 18:08 to play. ASU quickly sliced the deficit in half, scoring the next 10 points in a span of 1:49, to make it 52-41.
Just as he did in the first half, Brooks rose to the occasion off the bench. The Harlem, N.Y., native scored seven points in just over a minute, pushing CU’s lead to 61-42 and forcing a Sun Devil timeout.
Creighton continued to apply pressure, as Wragge had a pair of three-pointers surrounded by four McDermott points as the lead reached 73-51 with 7:36 left.
McDermott led all scorers with 27 points, including a perfect night in 10 attempts at the line. In the process, he became CU’s first player in 45 years (Bob Portman) to open a season with five straight games of 20 or more points. Brooks had a career-high 23 points in just 19 minutes of work, sinking of 9-of-11 field goal attempts, and 4-of-4 shots from long-range. The Bluejays shot 53.4 percent on the night, including 12-of-25 (48 percent) from long-range, and also sank 14-of-16 attempts from the line.
ASU was paced by 15 points from All-America candidate Jahii Carson, though Carson made just 5-of-12 attempts and had five turnovers. Jermaine Marshall and Richie Edwards both had 12 points for the Sun Devils. Jordan Bachynski, who entered the game with six straight double-doubles, got in early foul trouble and finished with season-lows four points and two rebounds in 18 minutes. The Sun Devils made 37.9 percent of its shots from the field and were 9-of-20 at the line.