PRINCETON, N.J. —The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. Growing up and watching both Bobby and Danny Hurley- covering the elder statesman Bobby Hurley Sr. at St. Anthony’s, one thing you know for sure they are going to compete until the whistle blows. You can call it a Jersey tough thing.
ASU Remy Martin scored 24 of his career-high 33 points in the second half and found Khalid Thomas in the right corner for the game-winning 3-pointer with 3.2 seconds remaining as Arizona State beat Princeton, 67-65, on Tuesday night at Jadwin Gym.
“We’re really disappointed in the result, but I’m proud of the guys. In the toughest of moments we answered. That’s the way basketball goes. The kid Thomas made a couple of huge shots. I thought we played really hard, we played to win, but Martin played out of his mind.” Tigers coach Mitch Henderson said.
Princeton got off to a sizzling start and led for the entire first half and had the Sun Devils on their heels. The Tigers pushed the tempo and had the high-low game working to perfection.
But the Sun Devils were unfazed at all. ASU team’s maturity and a dab of Martin willed them the win.
It was Martin’s fourth 20-plus scoring game of the season for the Sun Devils (4-2). He scored 23 points in the second half when ASU outscored Princeton 41-34.
The Tigers pounded the ball inside repeatedly recognizing the absence of a true big man in the post. Richmond Aririguzoh led Princeton (0-5) with 16 points and 18 rebounds. Princeton is off to its worst start since the 1984-85 team lost its first six.
ASU sprinted out to a 9-0 run to go-ahead 46-39 with 13:18 to play in the contest.
Martin’s deep jumper from the top of the key with 3:24 left gave the Sun Devils a 61-60 advantage. His dribble-drive assist to a wide-open Thomas pushed the lead to 64-60, before Princeton scored five straight points for a 65-64 lead with 20 tics on the clock.
“We knew it was going to be a close game. Remy played a hell of a game and kept us in the game. He is a born leader and we knew all we had to do is to keep playing hard and good things would fall in our favor. I was feeling comfortable taking shots and Remy made sure he got me the ball.”ASU Khalid Thomas said after the game.
After a timeout, Thomas took a nice pass from Martin for his game-winning corner 3-pointer. Martin, who had four rebounds and three assists, scored 18 of the Sun Devils’ 20 points before Thomas’ final two threes from downtown.
Thomas had played 21 minutes in four games this season and was averaging less than one point per contest. So his contributions to ASU were huge.
Romello White had 11 points and nine rebounds for ASU, who made seven threes in the second half to avenge a 67-66 home loss to the Tigers last season.
Drew Friberg had eight points including a pair of threes and Jaelin Llewellyn had five points including a 3-pointer as Princeton countered with a 17-3 run to go-ahead 56-49 with 7:55 left on the clock before Martin and the Sun Devils rallied again.
“Just heart and determination and will to win,” said Sun Devils coach Bobby Hurley, who was making a return to the state where he starred for his Hall of Fame father at St. Anthony of Jersey City. “He’s as good as anybody that I’ve had that way. He’s got such great internal fortitude. He knew this was a must-win game because we had just lost a tight one to Virginia and couldn’t afford to drop another game.”