No. 14 Arizona State holds off struggling Cal
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley made a lineup change Saturday night and got just what he wanted: balance and scoring punch off the bench.
Tra Holder and Remy Martin scored 13 points apiece and the No. 16 Sun Devils got contributions from throughout their lineup to beat Cal 81-73 in Pac-12 play.
Four players scored in double figures for the Sun Devils (15-4, 3-4) and the bench contributed 41 points, one shy of the most by an ASU team under Hurley in his three seasons.
Ohio State transfer Mickey Mitchell, who had started the previous seven games, came off the bench and provided 12 points and 11 rebounds.
“If you’re not winning, you’ve got to figure out a way to make some changes,” said Hurley, whose team started the season 12-0 to reach No. 3 in the AP Top 25 but lost four of its first six Pac-12 games. “It’s not an indictment of Mickey. He’s a tough guy, mentally tough as well. I told him I need him to be a difference-maker.
“There were a couple games we just weren’t getting the production we needed off the bench. Mickey provides energy and rebounding.”
Martin also comes off the bench, as does DeQuon Lake and Kimani Lawrence, who contributed nine and seven points, respectively.
The Sun Devils led by 16 points late in the first half, then regained control late after the Bears got within 65-60 with just under six minutes left.
Cal (7-13, 1-6) lost its sixth straight game, even with a big effort from senior Marcus Lee, who had averaged just six points over the previous three games.
A senior transfer from Kentucky, Lee equaled his career high with 23 points, despite shooting 3 for 10 from the free-throw line.
“It was good to see him back in form the way we all want to see him play,” Cal coach Wyking Jones said.
Freshman Darius McNeil added 16 points for Cal.
Fans took home Jason Kidd bobblehead dolls, commemorating his performance in the Bears’ 1993 NCAA Tournament upset of two-time defending champion Duke. Kidd had 11 points, 14 assists, eight rebounds and four steals against Bobby Hurley, now the coach at Arizona State, who scored a career-best 32 points.
Even with the victory, ASU figures to drop a few spots in the AP Top 25 after losing Wednesday at Stanford.
Arizona State: Holder was the most productive player in the Pac-12 through 14 games, averaging 22.2 points, 4.3 assists, 1.9 steals while shooting 44 percent from the 3-point arc. Over the previous four games entering Saturday, those numbers fell to 9.5 points, 3.3 assists, 0.5 steals and 21 percent from deep.
Cal: Not even playing on their home court has helped the struggling Bears. They are now 4-8 at Haas Pavilion, with seven defeats in their past eight tries, six of those setbacks by double-digit margins.
Arizona State plays at home vs. Utah on Thursday.
Cal visits UCLA on Thursday.
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