clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

#SunDevilMoments Series Seed No. 8: ASU upsets No. 18 Texas A&M

Bobby Hurley's first signature victory as ASU head coach checks in at No. 8 in our #SunDevilMoments countdown.

Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

Next week, House of Sparky will begin our "#SunDevilMoments" tournament, featuring the 16 best moments from the athletic season. This week we will introduce all 16 seeds, then reveal our match-ups where you, the reader, will vote on what was the ASU athletics Moment of the Year.

When Bobby Hurley was named as the Arizona State men's basketball coach, energy and excitement filled the Sun Devil fanbase. A loss in the season opener to Sacramento State muted those program-altering expectations, but those flames were reignited seven games later when ASU took down No. 18 Texas A&M in Wells Fargo Arena on December 5, 2015.

The Sun Devils were coming off a strong, 79-77 road victory over Creighton, and a contest against the top-20 Aggies presented an opportunity to make a statement in front of 7,608 loud fans.

ASU used a 22-3 run in the first half to jump out to a double-digit lead, and Texas A&M never really got comfortable after that.

The Aggies made a push in the second half, cutting the deficit to 11 points with five minutes to go. A transition bucket from TAMU forward Danuel House brought the Aggies within eight points with 2:42 remaining.

However, ASU guard Tra Holder put the anxious crowd in Wells Fargo Arena at ease with a cool mid-range jumper to push the lead back to 10, followed by an assist to forward Savon Goodman. Done deal. Game over. Upset accomplished.

The game itself wasn't pretty. Both teams shot under 40 percent and combined for 27 turnovers. ASU held Texas A&M to 31.1 percent shooting, which ended up being its second-lowest percentage of the season.

While ASU wasn't much better (36.4 percent shooting), five Sun Devils racked up double-digit points, headlined by forward Willie Atwood's 15-point effort.

To that point of the season, the Sun Devils stood at 6-2 and boasted four wins against KenPom Top-100 teams. Excitement was brewing in Tempe. ASU, behind Hurley's direction, had made a loud statement to the country that it wasn't looking to just rebuild and get smacked around in nonconference play.

Although that did not translate into Pac-12 play, ASU's high-level play against high-level competition garnered enough attention to sneak into early Tournament predictions. It also gave ASU fans a glimpse into the kind of coach manned the sidelines for their team.