Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 11/19/11
TEMPE, Ariz. Arizona State has shown flashes in each of its first three games, and it was junior forward Carrick Felix who was the most noticeable Friday. Felix had 20 points, one short of his career high, and added career highs in rebounds (seven) and 3-point field goals (three). But turnovers again kept the Sun Devils from making the most of it in a 76-70 loss to New Mexico at Wells Fargo Arena, however, their Achilles heel during a 1-2 start, a phrase both coach Herb Sendek and forward Trent Lockett used. ASU has made 22, 15 and 19 turnovers while playing a higher tempo offense with new lead guards Chris Colvin and Keala King. "Clearly, our turnovers just continue to be almost insurmountable. The quantity and the timing of them make it very difficult for our basketball team. It leaves us very little room for error," Sendek said. Colvin had six turnovers, and King and Lockett had four apiece. Both Colvin, a transfer from Palm Beach (Fla.) Community College, and sophomore King occasionally got too far into the lane without an escape valve, although King did have some nice finishes inside and had 13 points and seven assists. "I don't know if it's a function of him (Colvin) trying to do too much. We are trying to get him comfortable as he makes the transition here. He is more than capable. It's not just with him, but with several guys and our team in general," Sendek said. "We have to make better decisions. We have to take better care of the ball and understand the value of a simple play sometimes." Leading scorer Trent Lockett had 11 points, although he finished with only eight field goal attempts. For the second game in a row, he had only three field goal attempts in the first half, and Sendek considers that insufficient. "We really challenged our guards to be aware of Trent. Where can we get him the ball? Those are some areas we have to continue to grow," Sendek said. "I don't think we had Trent involved enough in the first half, but the way our offense is going to flow, there is going to be some aspect of it as to what is there and what is the defense providing." The most valuable takeaway from ASU's second loss in four days might have been Felix's accuracy from the perimeter. An athletic 6-foot-6 wing who can get to the basket, Felix gives a defender even more to think about when he is hitting shots from the perimeter. Felix made 5 of 8 shots, 3 of 4 from 3-point range, after going 2 of 8 against Pepperdine on Tuesday. "A lot of practice. A lot of reps I got up in the summer. I feel real comfortable, and my teammates make me comfortable," Felix said. "He had some good looks, and as you can see he has really improved his shooting. Really pleased with Carrick's progress," Sendek said. The Lobos (1-1) led by three at halftime, 41-28, while scoring 25 points in the paint, either on baskets or on free throws after being fouled underneath, but ASU took a lead midway through the second half. Felix made a free throw, Colvin banked in a layup and King hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key in a 6-0 run that gave ASU a 53-50 lead with 12:16 remaining, and King's three-point play in the lane kept the lead at three, 56-53, three minutes later. Chanse Creekmur's only three of the game made it 60-58 with 8 minutes to play, but that was ASU's last lead. Tony Snell made 3-pointers from the left corner around two free throw misses by Colvin to give New Mexico a 71-63 lead with 3 left, and ASU had the ball with a chance to tie only once thereafter, when Lockett had a look at a 3-pointer from the right baseline with 15 seconds left and the Lobos leading, 74-71. "That was the shot I wanted," said Lockett, who said he needed to be a little more aggressive on the offensive end in the first halves of games but at the same time did not want to force himself into the flow. The turnovers are a function of the newness in the backcourt, Lockett said, and are correctible before the Sun Devils travel to the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla., over Thanksgiving. "When we clean it up, we will be a lot better team. Chris, it's his first year, and Keala, point guard isn't his natural position, although obviously he is a great player. He's capable of it. I'm turning the ball over way too much as well."Follow Jack Magruder on Twitter
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