Tra Holder's late layup lifts ASU men's basketball to road win over Creighton

Tra Holder's game-winning layup with 15 seconds remaining was the difference in Omaha Wednesday night

ASU men's basketball earned its biggest win to date Wednesday night in Omaha, earning a 79-77 victory over Creighton on sophomore guard Tra Holder's game-winning follow-up layup.

Junior forward Savon Goodman, who finished just one point off his career high in scoring 23 points (10-for-13 shooting) with seven rebounds, had two free throws with less than 20 seconds remaining with a chance to tie the game at 77. 

Goodman missed the second, as Holder came up with the offensive rebound and threw up a layup attempt. Creighton was called for goaltending, giving the Sun Devils a 78-77 lead with 15 seconds left.

Holder finished with eight points on 3-for-8 shooting while tying his career high in dishing out eight assists.

The Sun Devils (5-2) struggled from the field in the first half of their first true road game of the season, shooting 40.3 percent while going entering the half down 41-33.

ASU would come out in the second half with arguably its best shooting performance of the season, jumping out to a 7-0 run on 83.3 percent shooting to go up 56-54 with 13:47 remaining. That would set up a wild finish, with neither team able to hold on to the lead until the final moments of the game.

Creighton was boosted by a pair of standout performances as junior guard Isaiah Zeiden contributed 14 points on 4-for-6 shooting on 3-pointers. The Blue Jays (5-2) depended on the deep ball for much of the night, hitting 11 of 24 shots compared to just seven from the Sun Devils.

Senior center Geoffrey Goeselle gave ASU fits with his 7-foot frame, tallying 15 points and nine boards in a losing effort.

ASU saw both forwards Willie Atwood (14 points) and Goodman stand out in the huge road win. Atwood, a senior, set a new career high by hitting three first half 3-pointers. The performances were much needed, as seniors Gerry Blakes (eight points, 3-for-11 shooting) and Eric Jacobsen (four points, 10 rebounds, 1-for-4 shooting) struggled offensively. 

The Sun Devils out-rebounded Creighton 34-29, as ASU has now out-rebounded every opponent outside of Sacramento State in its season opener.

ASU doesn't get much of break, as they return home Saturday to face its first ranked opponent of the Bobby Hurley era when it hosts No. 18 Texas A&M. The Aggies defeated Florida Gulf Coast University 75-65 Wednesday. The game will air on ESPN2, with tip-off expected for 8:30 p.m. Arizona time.


Reach the reporter at fardaya@asu.edu or follow @fardaya15 on Twitter.

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