UNLV 89, Arizona State 78
LAS VEGAS (AP)—Ricky Morgan scored 21 points to lead UNLV past Arizona State 89-78 in the first round of the NIT on Thursday night.
Morgan had 15 points in the first half and was 6-of-9 from the field overall, including 3-for-3 from 3-point range. He was averaging 3.4 points per game coming in the game.
The Rebels (17-13) advanced to play at South Carolina in the second round Tuesday night.
Ike Diogu had game-highs of 29 points and 11 rebounds in what may have been his last game for the Sun Devils (18-14). The junior power forward could be an NBA first-round draft pick this year he if decides to skip his senior season.
Diogu was 10-of-16 from the field and 8-of-11 from the free throw line.
Odartey Blankson had 19 points for the Rebels, and Jerel Blassingame and Michael Umeh each added 11.
UNLV shot 59 percent from the floor (34-of-58), including 11-for-22 from 3-point range.
Arizona State made 45 percent of its shots.
UNLV, which led just about the entire game, built its largest lead of the first half at 30-21. The Sun Devils then went on an 8-0 run, but the Rebels pulled away late in the half and led 48-40 at intermission.
The Sun Devils scored the first five points of the second half, but came no closer the rest of the way.
UNLV eventually built a 77-61 lead with 7:11 left, their largest lead of the game.
UNLV first-year coach Lon Kruger went against his son, ASU sophomore guard Kevin Kruger, for the first time. Kevin was 3-of-10 from the field for eight points.