By Morris Phillips
What qualifies as offensive execution in Tempe doesn’t closely resemble what offensive execution looks like in Berkeley.
Not even close.
The Sun Devils routed Cal, 84-53 while entertaining their home crowd with slick passing and emphatic dunks throughout. ASU took what could have been a very tense evening for the NCAA tournament hopeful Sun Devils and transformed it into a basketball carnival.
“We started the game loose and making plays,” said freewheeling, point guard Remy Martin. “That’s what happens when we play Sun Devil basketball.”
Arizona State scored 19 of the final 29 points before halftime to break open a close game and establish a double-digit lead at the break. The lead grew to 18 just minutes into the second half, part of ASU’s torrid 56 percent shooting after halftime that turned the game into a rout.
While the Sun Devils managed to get whatever shot they wanted, the Bears struggled to establish anything offensively. Cal missed all 10 of their 3-point attempts before halftime and eight more after the break. Cal’s 0 for 18 shooting from deep marked the second time the Bears have gone an entire game without a made three this season. Poor passing and lack of meaningful penetration doomed the Cal attack, which amassed just six assists while totaling 17 turnovers.
“I felt like everything we did was perimeter based,” coach Wyking Jones said. “The times we did get into the lane, it just didn’t feel like we were able to capitalize.”
Don Coleman led the Bears with 16 points but missed 12 of his 19 shots. Justice Sueing had 13 points, but he also struggled to make shots. Coleman and Sueing both missed all five of their 3-point attempts.
The loss dropped the Bears to 8-22, 2-15 marking the first time in the program’s 111-year history a California team has lost 22 times in a season. The Bears have lost six straight, and 14 of their last 15.