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Cal Basketball

Arizona State Outlasts Bears, 80-75

February 16, 2020

Cal battled and kept it close, but in the end, a late run lifted the Arizona State Sun Devils over the Bears on Sunday afternoon in Berkeley, 80-75. With 5:40 to go in the game, the Bears were within two at 60-58 after a Grant Anticevich turn-around jumper. But the Sun Devils (17-8, 8-4) slowly built a lead, extending it to as much as eight points multiple times and the Bears (10-15, 4-8) couldn’t quite close.

“Really a hard-fought game and we lost to a very good Arizona State team, who’s still in the hunt for a Pac-12 championship, for the NCAA tournament,” Head Coach Mark Fox said after the game. “And I thought it was a game in which both teams competed super hard.”

The Bears were paced by sophomore wing, Matt Bradley who had 22 points. It was Bradley’s ninth game on the season scoring 20 points or more. The sophomore wing did nearly all of it in the second half after scoring just two points and sitting the majority of the first half, thanks to foul trouble. But while Bradley sat, junior forward Grant Anticevich picked up the slack, leading all scorers with 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the field.

“Matt’s a warrior,” senior guard Paris Austin said after the game. “You know, I’d pick him on my team anytime.”

Arizona State led for over 17 minutes in the first half, building a seven-point lead with 6:56 to go in the first half. But the Bears kept it close, even taking a 31-30 lead on an Andre Kelly layup off a long Paris Austin outlet pass with 1:53 to go in the half. The Sun Devils couldn’t take advantage of Bradley on the bench and the teams went into halftime with the Bears down 31-32.

“I thought that we showed some maturity in the first half playing through Matt’s foul trouble,” Fox said after the game. “We had a lot of guys play well and keep us in the game. Matt certainly had a great second-half.”

The first half was very evenly matched with both teams going 12-of-27 from the field and making four free-throws in the first frame. The difference was Arizona State went 4-of-8 from three while Cal went 3-of-8.

Arizona State was led by guards Remy Martin and Alonzo Verge Jr., both of which put in 22 points. Forward Romello White recorded his eighth double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 boards. Martin, who leads the conference in scoring, was instrumental in Arizona State pulling away late from the Bears. He shot an incredibly efficient 7-of-10 from the field including 3-of-3 from behind the arc.

“Yeah, he’s a good player,” Austin said when asked about guarding Martin towards the end of the game.

“He made some big shots,” Austin later said. “That’s what good players do. He made some big shots.”

With 6:27 to play, the Bears were down 58-56 when Martin made a driving layup to make the score 60-56. When Anticevich’s jumper went in to bring the lead back to two, Martin answered on the other end with a three. Each time ASU needed a shot, Martin seemed to knock one in. While Martin carried the Sun Devils, Verge finished off the Bears, going 10-of-11 from the free-throw line. 

“In the end, you have to tip your hat to Remy Martin who made some plays as an experienced winner does,” Fox said. “Some times in defeats you play well and I thought we played well. But we didn’t win, obviously, which is what we came here to do.”

Austin rebounded after a tough game against Arizona on Thursday. Austin poured in 17 points and went 5-of-5 from the free-throw line. He also dished out five assists and turned it over just once.

“I think it came down to stops,” Austin said. “You know, in the last, maybe six minutes of the game, they made some really big plays — some big threes, big rebounds — you know, I just really think it came down to defense.”

The Bears have a quick turn-around before traveling to play Washington State on Wednesday.

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