Golden Bears Fall To Sun Devils, 79-70
Jan. 8, 2005
By GREG BEACHAM
AP Sports Writer
BERKELEY, Calif. - Ike Diogu had 25 points and seven rebounds, andArizona State beat California 79-70 Saturday night for its 11th victory in 12games.
Diogu, the Pac-10's leading scorer and rebounder, had his sixth straight20-point game for the Sun Devils (13-2, 2-1), who finished strong in theirfirst sweep of the conference's Bay Area road trip in 20 years. Arizona Statesnapped its 13-game losing streak against Stanford on Thursday night.
Steve Moore scored 18 points for the Sun Devils, who trailed at halftime buttook the lead for good with a 12-0 run in three minutes midway through thesecond half. They shut down the undermanned Golden Bears with a simple 2-3 zonedefense, and Kevin Kruger hit two big jumpers during the decisive run inArizona State's second victory in its last nine meetings with Cal.
Rod Benson had 15 points and eight rebounds, and walk-on Martin Smith had acareer-high 12 points and seven assists for the Bears (8-6, 1-3). But leadingscorer Richard Midgley was limited to six minutes with a sprained rightshoulder, and Cal's season-long scoring troubles only got worse.
Diogu punctuated another dominant game with a remarkable sequence. Heblocked Benson's dunk attempt with brute force on one end, then hit a featheryfallaway jumper on the other end to give the Sun Devils a 70-60 lead with 3:38to play.
His only real slip-ups came at the free throw line, where he hurt his 85.4percent shooting on the season with a 7-for-10 performance.
Cal got within five points in the final minute, but Moore and Kruger madetwo free throws apiece. Kruger finished with 11 points.
Midgley, the Bears' English point guard, was held out of the startinglineup, but entered the game midway through the first half and immediatelyfound Dominic McGuire for an alley-oop dunk. Midgley was hurt last week againstWashington State, but the injury apparently worsened in Thursday's loss toArizona.
Cal coach Ben Braun also shuffled his starting lineup, replacing Rod Bensonand DeVon Hardin with David Paris and Kevin Langford. Braun was hoping to keepHardin, his talented freshman center, out of foul trouble - but Hardin stillgot two quick fouls as soon as he entered the game, playing just threefirst-half minutes.
Arizona State has swept the Pac-10's Bay Area road trip just three times inschool history, in 1980, 1981 and 1985.