Arizona State Falls To Cal 74-62
by Brian Gomez, sundevils.com
Two days after dropping a heartbreaker against No. 4-ranked Stanford in a game that could have easily gone the other way, the faucet was stuck on cold Saturday for the Arizona State men's basketball team.
And not even a spirited, second-half comeback attempt could prevent this one from circling the drain.
Hampered by inconsistencies on both ends of the floor, ASU suffered a 74-62 loss to California at Wells Fargo Arena, its fourth straight defeat and third in a row to open the Pac-10 season.
'There was a basketball team out there tonight that didn't give the effort that you've got to have to win on this level,' said Sun Devil head coach Rob Evans, whose team committed 13 turnovers and shot 30.9 percent from the field and 19.2 percent from three-point range. 'I'd like to hide behind something else, but there's nothing to hide behind.'
ASU (6-6, 0-3 Pac-10) struggled throughout the game, however, the damage was done during a 3 1/2-minute stretch late in the first half, when California (6-7, 2-2) extended a four-point lead to 14 points.
Freshman swingman Marquise Kately started the game-breaking stretch with a layup in transition, before freshman forward Dominic McGuire converted a three-point play upon being fouled from behind by Sun Devil junior guard Steve Moore.
Leading 29-20 with 6:20 remaining, the Golden Bears padded their cushion on freshman guard Ayinde Ubaka's three-pointer. McGuire then scored on a breakaway dunk, one of many transition baskets that helped California gain control.
'They really took advantage of us late in the first half,' said Diogu, who totaled game highs with 31 points and 13 rebounds in a full 40 minutes. 'We got away from what we were doing earlier, and it really cost us by not getting back in transition and by giving guys wide-open looks.'
The Golden Bears used a 7-2 run in the closing two minutes of the first half to claim a 42-26 lead at intermission. In the first half, ASU turned the ball over 10 times, and marked only seven field goals on 26.9 percent shooting from the field.
'I could see in the first half that we had no life,' Evans said. 'We were doing everything we could to try to get some life into them, but there was just none.'
Despite being held scoreless for the opening five minutes of the second half, the Sun Devils stayed competitive thanks to a solid effort from the free-throw line. They trimmed a 20-point deficit to eight points on Diogu's pair of free throws, but California responded with seven unanswered points to put the game away.
'There was really no excuse for the way we played tonight,' Diogu said. 'It seemed like we were zombies out there just going through the motions, and as a result, we're 0-3 in the Pac-10.'
Other than Diogu, Moore was the only Sun Devil to score in double figures. He had 10 points and five rebounds.
Kately led all California scorers with 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field. Freshman forward Leon Powe added 16 points, and Ubaka scored 10 points and dished out five assists.
UP NEXT: ASU hits the road next week for a Pac-10 game at 8:30 p.m. MST Thursday against UCLA. There's no television, although the game can be heard on ESPN Radio 860 AM.
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By MEL REISNER
AP Sports Writer
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - Leon Powe scored eight of his 16 points in the final2:58, helping California hold on for a 74-62 win over Arizona State on Saturdaynight.
Marquise Kately had 17 points and Ayinde Ubaka 10 for the Bears (6-7, 2-2Pac-10), who snapped a two-game losing streak while sending Arizona State toits fourth straight loss.
The Sun Devils (6-6, 0-3) seemed drained by their effort in a 63-62 loss toStanford on Thursday.
The game was coach Ben Braun's 800th overall and 232nd in eight seasons withCal, moving him past Lou Campanelli for second in the school's career coachingranks.
The Bears played without Powe, their leading scorer and rebounder, in a20-point loss at Arizona on Thursday, and center Amit Tamir had his worst game,with only five points and three rebounds.
This time, the all-Pac-10 center had eight points and six rebounds - thesame as Kately, offsetting Diogu inside.
Cal led by 20 with 13:18 left to play and had a 57-42 lead with 8:50 to go.
But the Sun Devils whittled away, getting within 60-51 on Diogu's 10-footturnaround with 5:15 left.
Then Powe, who rested a sore knee the previous game, made two layups and twofree throws in a 56-second span, sending the Bears ahead 67-53 with 2:02 to go.
The Sun Devils trailed by 16 points in the first half for the secondstraight game. This time, their rally never quite arrived.
Arizona State missed its first six shots in the second half - part of a2-for-20 stretch from the midpoint of the first half. Powe, who had two pointsat halftime, dunked off a pass from Richard Midgley, and Tamir had a layin asthe Bears took a 46-26 lead with 18:10 to play.
Arizona State led only once, but closed within 20-19 on a 3-pointer by JamalHill with 10:07 left in the first half.
That started a 14-1 run by Cal capped by Ayinde Ubaka's 3-pointer and a dunkby Dominic McGuire that opened a 34-20 lead with 4:43 to go.
The Sun Devils missed 11 consecutive shots before Jason Braxton made a layupwith 2:11 to go, and trailed 42-26 at halftime.