Los Angeles – Arizona State repelled every threat St. John’s posed.
Romello White scored 22 points and the 16th-ranked Sun Devils won 82-70 on Friday night in the opener of the Basketball Hall of Fame Classic tripleheader at Staples Center.
Shannon Evans II added 18 points for the Sun Devils (8-0), off to their best start since the 1974-75 season.
“It was pretty challenging because every shot I put up they challenged it,” White said.
St. John’s rallied from a 13-point deficit early in the second half to trail 71-70 on a layup by Shamorie Ponds after he stole the ball from White.
After Remy Martin missed a layup for the Sun Devils, Bryan Trimble Jr. threw the ball away near the Red Storm’s bench and they never got any closer.
“Romello White was just the difference,” said Marvin Clark II, who had 18 points for St. John’s.
Kodi Justice hit a 3-pointer for Arizona State, launching a game-ending 11-0 run. The Sun Devils made 23 of 27 free throws in the game, including their last eight in a row.
“Kodi’s 3 was huge, a momentum shot,” ASU coach Bobby Hurley said. “He’s got a knack for making big shots and he wants the moment.”
Ponds scored 19 points and Tariq Owens had 17 points for the Red Storm (8-2), who had their three-game winning streak ended.
“They came out really hot,” St. John’s coach Chris Mullin said. “We maintained our composure and got back in the game. On the flip side, we tried to put them in the post a lot, we tried to make them guard us.”
ASU made nine 3-pointers, with Vitaliy Shibel, Evans and Justice hitting three each. Shibel, who fouled out, was 3 of 17 from long range coming in.
“I do think we’re an entertaining team to watch,” Hurley said. “We play on instinct and don’t walk the ball up the court. It’s a fun team to coach because they’re playmakers.”
St. John’s led 19-18 — its only lead of the game — when the Sun Devils closed the first half on a 28-15 run to lead 46-34. Justice scored 10 points, including two 3-pointers, and Evans added seven in the spurt.
More Top 25
Oklahoma 85, (at) No. 25 Southern California 83: Trae Young had 29 points and nine assists in the Hall of Fame Basketball Classic. Young, a freshman who leads the nation in scoring, topped 28 points for the sixth straight game.
Christian James added 19 points, tying his career-high with five 3-pointers, and Brady Manek had 15 points for the Sooners (7-1), who won their fifth in a row.
Elijah Stewart led five players in double figures with 23 points for the Trojans (4-3), who never led in losing their third straight. Chimezie Metu had 13 points and 11 rebounds.
(At) Western Michigan 74, Detroit Mercy 63: Breanna Mobley had 21 points and 10 rebounds for Western Michigan. Deja Wimby scored 12 and Marley Hill 10 for the Broncos (5-5). Brianne Cohen scored 21 for UDM (0-7).
(At) Illinois-Chicago 73, Eastern Michigan 70: Sasha Dailey scored 18 and Micah Robinson 14 for Eastern (2-6), which has lost six straight.