Carson's 40 points leads ASU over UNLV 86-80Arizona State's Jahii Carson dunks during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against UNLV on Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Jahii Carson scored a career-high 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.
Trailing 61-59 with a little more than 10 minutes left in the game, the Sun Devils (4-0) went on runs of 9-4, 14-7 and 22-13 to seize momentum.
The 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 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.
Marshall finished with 20 points, while Jordan Bachynski had 17 points and 15 rebounds for the Sun Devils.
Arizona State, which is averaging 90 points per game in its 4-0 start, 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, led by Roscoe Smith's 18 points and 21 rebounds.
Arizona State is off until Friday, when it will host Bradley, while the Rebels take a week off until hosting Illinois next Tuesday.