Coach Herb Sendek let Carrick Felix direct traffic on Friday night and it paid dividends - Rick Scuteri-US PRESSWIRE
The Arizona State Sun Devils improved to 4-0 with a marquee victory over the Arkansas Razorbacks. Carrick Felix led the Sun Devil attack with 24 points in the 83-68 win
With 7:32 remaining on Friday night in Las Vegas, Carrick Felix left no doubt.
The Sun Devil senior caught the ball on the left wing, drove to the paint and slammed home a monstrous dunk that showed the Arizona State Sun Devils were back.
Sparked by a career high 24 points from Carrick Felix, the Arizona State Sun Devils improved to 4-0 with an 83-68 victory over the Arkansas Razorbacks.
7-foot-2 center Jordan Bachynski sent the opening tip-off by way of Sun Devil point guard Jahii Carson who dashed straight toward the basket and laid in the first bucket of the game. The Arizona State offense did not relent accepting the full court pressure defense of the Arkansas Razorbacks as an opportunity to display the new high-tempo offense.
Arkansas opened the season with three consecutive victories, but proved no match for the Sun Devils who drove through the Razorback defense with ease en route to 43 first half points.
Carrick Felix dominated the first half with 17 points on 5-6 shooting, but his senior leadership played as much of a role as his hot hand from the perimeter in the Sun Devils victory.
With the game tied at 15 early on in the first half, B.J. Young and the Razorbacks turned up the heat on defense. Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson calls his team's style of play, "The fastest 40 minutes in basketball," but Carrick Felix proved otherwise.
Felix weaved his way down the court for a quick layup that gave the Sun Devils a 17-15 lead and showed the Razorbacks how the Sun Devils would counter the trap defense.
Jahii Carson facilitated much of the first half offense with consistent drives and dishes, and helped the Arizona State shooters thrive. The Sun Devils shot 62.5% from the field in the first half and found momentum heading into the break.
Though the Sun Devils would only receive 12 points from their bench, senior guard Chris Colvin provided a lift with four consecutive points heading into halftime that gave the Sun Devils a 43-41 lead at the break.
Buoyed by their offensive success in the first half, the Sun Devils gave the Razorbacks a taste of their own medicine when they broke from the locker rooms and went on a 6-0 run out of the break.
Jordan Bachynski keyed the Sun Devils' success in the second half as he finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds and his second double-double on the season.
As B.J. Young led the Razorback comeback effort, Bachynski routinely swatted away all challengers including two consecutive shots that preserved a 64-54 lead for the Sun Devils.
Though Young finished with a game-high 29 points, Arizona State responded to his efforts with more offensive firepower. After Young pulled the Razorbacks within 10 points late, Carrick Felix took over.
Felix saw a hole in the Razorback defense and capitalized with a thunderous dunk that gave the Sun Devils a commanding 70-56 lead.
The Razorbacks were unable to respond as the Sun Devils maintained a double digit lead on the scoreboard the rest of the way.
Even though the Sun Devils struggled from the free-throw line, their defensive hustle and transition defense allowed Arizona State to pull away for its fourth consecutive victory to open the season.