ASU men's basketball rode a hot-shooting first half to defeat St. John's 74-65 in their first NCAA tournament win since 2009.
St. John's junior guard Shamorie Ponds scored 25 points on 8-of-20 shooting.
ASU came out firing on all cylinders, shooting 54 percent from the field and 67 percent from three in the first half.
The team's 16-2 run over a five-minute period in the first half set up their early lead.
ASU's defense was just as good as its offense, holding the Red Storm to just 31-percent shooting from the field using a combination of man and 2-3 zone defense.
With that said, St. John's blitzed ASU out of the second half with an 8-0 run to cut the lead to nine. ASU responded well, bringing the lead back up to as many as 15.
St. John's wouldn't go down without a fight, cutting the lead down to as few as seven points, but ASU was able to hold off one last gasp by knocking down free throws.
However, the Sun Devils struggled yet again with breaking a press, committing a hefty number of their turnovers in the last 10 minutes of the game.
"We were a little uncharacteristic, with just being slightly careless," head coach Bobby Hurley said. "We'll look at all of the turnovers and try to make some adjustments."
The win marks Hurley's first NCAA tournament win of his career in three attempts.
ASU will face the No. 6 Buffalo on Friday at 1:00 PM MST.
Jeffrey Horst is the digital editor-in-chief of The State Press. He previously served as the publication's sports editor and worked at Cronkite News and ArizonaSports.com.