ASU Basketball: Sun Devils stay perfect after St. John’s scare

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 08: Romello White
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 08: Romello White /

ASU basketball improved to 8-0 on the season holding off St. John’s 82-70 after the Red Storm made a late surge in the second half.

It was a tail of two halves Friday night for the Sun Devils when they took on the Red Storm. Throughout the first half, ASU was able to play their brand of basketball, running up and down the court at a blistering pace.

The Sun Devils were well on their way to another 90-point scoring night taking a 46-34 lead into halftime. An impressive half of basketball was fueled by excellent ball movement and a stifling defensive effort.

The Sun Devils were able to close the first half on a 28-15 run, and took a comfortable lead into the second half. Massive runs at the end of halves is starting to become a trend for this impressive Sun Devil team. Vitality Shibel had his best night as a Sun Devil, scoring 11 points and hitting 3-three-pointers.

Marvin Clark had an excellent game for the St. John’s, scoring 19 points. Without guard Marcus LoVett (15.0 points per game), most of the scoring load fell onto Shamorie Ponds for the Red Storm.

Despite shooting 26 percent, Ponds was able to make an impact Friday night with a near triple-double finishing with 19 points, seven boards and seven assists. Ponds converted on a layup that brought the Red Storm within one point with 2:41 left in the game.

Only one play later, and with a chance to take the lead, St. John’s had a titanic turnover that disrupted all momentum. Bryan Trimble Jr. threw an awry pass into the second row of the Staples Center seats, and the rest was history.

ASU closed the game on an 11-0 run led by a classic Kodi Justice three pointer, and free throws down the stretch.

Romello White and Shannon Evans combined for 40 points and were massive down the stretch for head coach Bobby Hurley. Tra Holder had a bad night shooting (2-of-12), but made an impact by corralling five rebounds and dishing four assists.

This victory goes down as one of the Sun Devils best wins this season, and another step towards their first March Madness Tournament run since 2014-15.

Next: ASU Men’s Basketball: Sloppy second half not enough to sink Devils

Sporting an 8-0 record and confidence at its highest level in years, the Sun Devils will travel to the Allen Fieldhouse Sunday to take on the Kansas Jayhawks.