Tom Frost added 17 points in Wednesday's defeat to Arizona State. The two teams meet again on December 7 in Utah.
LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) - Curtis Millage scored 26 points in his season debut, and Arizona State overcame poor free throw shooting to beat Utah 83-79 in overtime Wednesday and finish fifth in the Maui Invitational.
Millage, a senior guard who was Arizona State's leading returning scorer, missed the first three games of the season while questions about his academic eligibility were cleared up. He was given permission to play by the NCAA on Tuesday, and he joined his teammates in Hawaii that night.
The Sun Devils (3-1) took a 69-62 lead over Utah with 1:18 to play in regulation on a free throw by Jason Braxton.
Nick Jacobson of Utah (2-2) then hit three 3-pointers in a 33-second span - while Millage missed four free throws - to give the Utes a 71-69 lead with 24 seconds left.
Arizona State tied it on Braxton's rebound basket with 7.5 seconds to play, and Utah missed a chance to win it at the buzzer when Britton Johnsen's spin move was off the mark.
The Sun Devils scored the first eight points of overtime. Freshman Ike Diogu sandwiched four free throws around a 3-pointer by Millage, who then added a free throw that made it 79-71 with 1:35 left.
Diogu scored 22 for the Sun Devils, who were 32-for-57 (56 percent) from the free throw line, including 10-for-24 over the final 1:18 of regulation and the overtime. The 57 attempts were a school record, one more than it had against Arizona in 1955.
Johnsen had 23 points for Utah, while Tom Frost added 17, and Jacobson had 15, all on 3-pointers.
Millage, who shot 75 percent from the line last season, was 2-for-10 over the closing stretch and finished 8-for-20 for the game.
"Everybody can see what Curtis Millage means to this team with his
leadership and scoring," Arizona State coach Rob Evans said. "He got here at
8:30 last night and played this morning for the first time since last April.
You can practice free throws all you want, but it's different in competition
and he played a lot of minutes for us."
"I'm happy to be with the team, that's my family," he said. "I just had a lot on my mind the last two weeks and I'll work on the free throws when I get home. After you miss a couple or so you just have to go on to the next possession."
The teams meet again Dec. 7 at Utah.