Cal Holds Off Strong ASU Rally for 76-73 Victory

Feb. 16, 2008

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - Once California tamed Ty Abbott for a stretch, the Golden Bears got on a roll and gave coach Ben Braun his 550th career win.

Ryan Anderson had 28 points and 11 rebounds, Patrick Christopher added 20 points and five boards and Cal survived Arizona State's rally in the final minute for a 76-73 victory Saturday to end a two-game skid and help Braun boost his win total despite a rally in the final minute.

In his 31st season, Braun ranks as the 10th-winningest active coach (550-382).

Abbott, one of ASU's two standout freshmen, had a big first half before initially going quiet after the break. He still wound up with a career-high 30 points and eight 3-pointers.

Abbott's scoring performance was an Arizona State season best, and ranks third by a freshman in school history behind Byron Scott and Mario Bennett. The team also matched the school record with 16 total 3s.

But the Sun Devils failed to complete what would have been the program's first sweep of the Bay Area schools at home since the 1994-95 season - on a day former ASU stars Eddie House and Ike Diogu were among the 9,827 in attendance during their NBA All-Star break.

Cal (15-9, 6-7 Pac-10) took a 50-37 lead on Anderson's third 3 of the game with 9:10 left, then Abbott hit from long range on the other end for his first points of the half.

Arizona State's Jeff Pendergraph picked up his fourth foul with 16:58 to play and later fouled out - and Cal took advantage by outscoring the Sun Devils (16-8, 6-6) 14-5 the first time he took a seat.

James Harden's 3 in the final 30 seconds was followed by a steal of Cal's inbounds pass by Derek Glasser, who dished to Rihards Kuksiks for a 3 that cut the lead to four.

The visiting team has won the last eight meetings in the series and Cal has taken seven of the last eight at Wells Fargo Arena, including a 66-62 overtime victory last year. The Bears have won 11 of the last 16 meetings with ASU overall.

The Sun Devils got sloppy and missed their first six shots out of intermission and had six quick turnovers before James Harden's basket at 14:04. Cal hit all six of its free throws in the first four minutes during a 10-1 run that featured four straight points by Harper Kamp.

Harden also was limited by foul trouble. He was held to 11 points on 3-of-10 shooting and went 1-for-6 on 3s but added eight rebounds and eight assists before fouling out.

Arizona State rallied from 14 points down in the second half for a 72-68 overtime victory over No. 7 Stanford on Thursday.

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