TEMPE, Ariz. -- Willie Atwood had 15 points to lead Arizona State's balanced offense and the Sun Devils held off a late charge to beat No. 18 Texas A&M 67-54 on Saturday night.
Arizona State (6-2) had some solid wins to start the season and passed its first big test by beating the Aggies, the third ranked nonconference team to play at Wells Fargo Arena in 32 years.
The Sun Devils made 10 3-pointers, but didn't shoot particularly well, finishing at 36 percent from the floor. Tra Holder added 13 points for Arizona State, which built a 25-point lead early in the second half.
Texas A&M (7-2) shot poorly most of the night (31 percent) before using an extended zone to chip away at the Sun Devils' lead.
The Aggies played three games away from College Station early in the season, beating Texas and Gonzaga before losing to Syracuse in the championship game of the Battle4Atlantis in the Bahamas.
This trip to the desert was their first true road game and they were facing a Sun Devils team that has been a little better than expected in coach Bobby Hurley's first season.
Arizona State was coming off consecutive close victories -- the last one on the road against Creighton -- and returned home with loads of confidence.
Though they didn't shoot particularly well in the first half, the Sun Devils had one stretch early where everything seemed to be going in, using a 17-2 run to build an early 14-point lead.
Arizona State went back to struggling after its spurt, hitting 10 of 28 shots in the half.
The Sun Devils led by 14 because the Aggies were much worse.
Texas A&M made 3 of 17 from 3-point range in a victory over Florida Gulf State in its last game and continued to clang away against Arizona State. The Aggies shot 6 of 27 in the opening half, making 2 of 11 from 3-point range.
It somehow got worse to start the second half.
Texas A&M had three turnovers and three missed shots to open the half, needing nearly four minutes to score. Arizona State took advantage of the Aggies' eight fouls in the first 3 1/2 minutes, pushing the lead to 42-19.
Arizona State built the lead to 25 before Texas A&M pushed back, using extended defensive pressure to spark an 11-0 run and get within 49-35.
The Aggies continued to give the Sun Devils trouble with their pressure and cut the lead to 62-54 before Holder hit a runner in the lane.
Texas A&M: The Aggies had a 16-11 advantage in offensive rebounds, but were outscored 17-7 by Arizona State on second-chance points. ... Caruso had four assists.
Texas A&M hosts Kansas State next Saturday.
Arizona State plays at No. Kentucky next Saturday.