Another close loss for Sun Devils

An improved Sun Devils squad has lost its last two games by single digits and tonight in Berkeley it was Déjà vu all over again. ASU's offense went cold in the last 7:25 minutes of the game and did not score a field goal as they allowed Cal to end the game on a 14-3 run to come back and win 66-62.

The first half was a classic shootout where both teams scored over 50 percent from the field. Jamelle McMillan's torrid shooting beyond the arc helped Arizona State (9-13, 1-9 Pac-10) to keep pace with California (13-9, 6-4) in the first twenty minutes. The Golden Bears scored 20 points in the paint much in part to their ability to beat the Sun Devils off the dribble, but on defense surrendered six three pointers.

The Golden Bears led 22-15 at the 10:55 mark. McMillan as well as Trent Lockett were able to claim the lead for the Devils, 32-30 with 2:48 left in the half. The hosts held a slim 38-36 edge at halftime, but clearly didn't have the momentum and the opening minutes of the second stanza proved that point.

Eight points by Lockett to start the period gave ASU a 48-43 lead at the 14:32 mark. Nonetheless, the Sun Devils were never able to significantly increase their lead which did come back to haunt them down the stretch. Ty Abbot's three pointer made it a 59-52 game when the aforementioned scoring drought began. Despite their struggles the maroon and gold were trailing just 63-62 with 2:51 left. A three-point basket by Allen Crabbe with 18 seconds were the last points score in the game effectively sealing the contest's fate.

Lockett led ASU with 18 points, six rebounds and four assists. McMillan added 14. The Sun Devils were 10 of 26 beyond the arc and overall shot 44 percent from the field while holding Cal to 39.6 percent. Not only were the rebounds skewed in favor of Cal, 23-13, but ASU committed 23 fouls to Cal's 12. Consequently, the hosts were 24 of 29 from the line while the Sun Devils were 8 of 12. Jorge Gutierrez paced the Bears with 18.

ASU will conclude its Bay Area trip with a visit to Stanford on Saturday for a 4:00 pm MST tip-off against Stanford.


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