No. 25 @SunDevilHoops Wins at Cal to Open Pac-12 Play
Written by Griffin Fabits, Sun Devil Athletics Media Relations Intern; Cronkite Senior, Sports Journalism Major
BERKELEY, Calif. - The No. 25 Sun Devil men's basketball team picked up its fourth consecutive victory at Haas Pavilion, earning a 70-62 win over California in the Pac-12 opener.
Remy Martin continued his domination of the Golden Bears in their own gym, scoring a team-high 22 points thanks to an efficient 8-of-11 shooting. Reigning Pac-12 Freshman of the Week Josh Christopher reached double-figures for the fourth straight game to start his career, combining with Martin to score 36 of the Sun Devils' 70 points while connecting on 60.8 percent of their shots (14-for-23).
"The guys that we count on delivered," head coach Bobby Hurley stated postgame. "It starts with Remy. Holland (Woods) hit some clutch shots down the stretch. A number of our guys have been in big games over the past couple of years and we have some new guys added to the mix, but our players know how to operate and function in these type of games."
Arizona State's (3-1, 1-0) first true road game of the season proved to be a test, but the Maroon & Gold showed poise down the stretch to pull away late. The game teetered back and forth for much of the first half, with the first 20 minutes featuring 14 lead changes, six ties, and just a slim 35-34 lead at the break. Holding off several California comeback attempts, the Sun Devils never wavered, holding on to a lead for the entirety of the entirety of the second half.
Coach Hurley's offense benefited from a pair of timely three-pointers down the stretch from Holland Woods, who came off the bench to score nine on 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. The Sun Devils managed to fend off a Cal run, as Martin padded the lead with a clutch layup to push ahead 68-62 with just under two minutes remaining. Arizona State turned up the pressure defensively in crunch time, holding Cal to just 37.0 percent shooting in the second half while forcing 20 turnovers much to the delight of Coach Hurley.
"We were able to get into our full court press (in the second half) a little bit and create some turnovers," Coach Hurley remarked. "We held them around 40 (percent) for the game, which is great, but I think the story was our ability to turn them over 20 times."
The Sun Devils have now won six straight games versus the Bears and move to 6-2 in their last eight trips to Berkeley. They've started 3-1 or better in each of Bobby Hurley's first six seasons in Tempe. The win gave the Sun Devils their first road win in a Pac-12 opener since 2016, when they beat Stanford 98-93. The Golden Bears were 13-5 at the Haas Pavilion under head coach Marx Fox entering tonight, winning each of its last four home outings dating back to last season. Cal hadn't surrendered a home loss since the Sun Devils last visited on Feb. 16.
ASU will continue play next Thursday when they welcome San Diego State to Tempe, eyeing a start of 4-1 or better for the fourth time in as many years. The game is scheduled to tip-off at 8 pm MST and will be broadcasted nationally on FS1.
Senior guard Remy Martin continues to thrive at Haas Pavilion, leading the Sun Devils to a 4-0 record during his career. During that span, Martin has averaged 20.3 points and 5.3 assists in only 29.3 minutes per game.
REMY MARTIN AT CAL
ASU 70, @Cal 62/Dec. 3, 2020 -- Remy 8-11 FGs, 6-7 FT, 5 assists/4 TO 37 minutes, 22 points
ASU 80, @Cal 75/Feb. 16, 2020--Remy 7-10 FGs, 3-3 3PT, 5 assists/3 TO, 29 minutes, 22 points
ASU 80, @Cal 66/Jan. 9, 2019--Remy 9-14 FGs, 5-7 3PT, 8 assists/1 TO, 33 minutes, 24 points
ASU 81, @Cal 73/Jan. 20, 2018--Remy 4-7 FGs, 2-2 3PT, 3 assists/1 TO, 18 minutes, 13 points,
With his 22 point effort, Martin passed two-time Pac-10 All-Conference selection and first round NBA Draft pick Mario Bennett to move into 14th place on the program's all-time career scoring list.
SUN DEVIL CAREER SCORING CHART UPDATE
12. 1,455 – Paul Williams, '79-83
13. 1,393 – Larry Armstrong, '59-62
14. 1,383 – Remy Martin, '17-present
15. 1,368 – Mario Bennett, '91-95
DEFENSE IN THE FINAL MINUTES
--Cal did not score on their final five possessions. The Bears (2-2, 0-1) were within 63-60 after a basket by Grant Anticevich with 3:25 left. But on their final seven possessions of the game they managed just two free throws, shooting 0-for-2 with four of their 20 turnovers. Cal did not score in the final 2 minutes, 10 seconds.
RECENT ASU PAC-12 OPENERS
ASU 70, @California 62 (Dec. 3, 2020)
@#25 Arizona 75, ASU 47 (Jan. 4, 2020)
Utah 96, ASU 86 (Jan. 3, 2019)
@#17 Arizona 84, #3 ASU 78 (Dec. 30, 2017)
ASU 98, @Stanford 93 (Dec. 30, 2016)
#4 Arizona 94, ASU 82 (Jan. 3, 2016)
@#8 Arizona 73, ASU 49 (Jan. 4, 2015)
Washington 76, ASU 65 (Jan. 2, 2014)
ASU 55, Utah 54 OT (Jan. 2, 2013)
@Arizona 68, ASU 51 (Dec. 31, 2011)
@Oregon State 80, ASU 58 (Dec. 30, 2010)
@UCLA 72, ASU 70 (Dec. 31, 2009)
ASU 90, @Stanford 60 (Jan. 2, 2009)