ASU Earns Home Sweep, Knocks Off Cal

Senior Jermaine Marshall notched his eleventh 20 point effort of the season and Arizona State used a hot-shooting second half to complete its weekend sweep of the Bay area schools and season sweep over California, defeating the Golden Bears 78-60 on Saturday afternoon.

Marshall, one of seven Sun Devil seniors who were honored before the game on Senior Day, finished with 22 points on 7-11 shooting, including 6-8 from behind the three point line as Arizona State overcame an early six point deficit to rout California in the final home game of the season for the Sun Devils at Wells Fargo Arena.

Senior Justin Cobbs helped put the Golden Bears ahead early, going 3-3 from the field as California jumped out to a 12-6 lead with 13:26 to play in the first half. But as he's done throughout the entire season, Marshall stepped up when his teammates needed him the most.

The Penn State transfer scored 10 points in the first half and ASU outscored the Golden Bears 11-2 over the final 6:40 to close-out the first half, leading 29-24 at the break.

Arizona State (21-8, 10-6 Pac-12) opened up the second half by converting six of their first seven field goal attempts and used a 10-0 run to push their lead to 14 following a Jordan Bachynski jumper in the lane. From that point, the rout was on for the Sun Devils.

Arizona State shot 20-29 (.690) in the second half and led by as many as 20 points with 5:58 to play

"I think we moved the ball more," said point guard Jahii Carson on the team's improved second half play. "We weren't as stagnant. We fed the ball on the sides more and worked inside out. When we do that, the defense has to collapse and we were just cutting harder and playing harder. I think that made them a little bit more exhausted on defense and we got some easier shots."

Fellow seniors Shaquille McKissic and Bachynski got into the fray as well during Arizona State's decisive second half push. McKissic finished with 10 points, six rebounds, and four assists. The Seattle native also added one roof raising slam dunk, blowing past Cal center David Kravish along the baseline for a reverse slam.

McKissic was fouled on the dunk and added a free throw to put ASU ahead 57-40 with 10:51 to play.

"I've been waiting," said an enthusiastic Carson. "He does that all the time in practice, you know, because that's Shaq. But now that he threw one (down) in a game, it's about time. That's some old Carrick (Felix) stuff right there."

Bachynski, who was held scoreless in the first half, came alive in the second half to finish with eight points, seven rebounds, and four blocks.

Bachynski entered Saturday's contest needing just one blocked shot to equal the Pac-12 single season record for blocks (119), which he set last year. After failing to record a blocked shot for the first time all season against Stanford on Wednesday, Bachynski wasted very little time catching and surpassing his own mark, blocking two Cal shots on one possession early in the contest.

Bachynski, the Pac-12's all-time leader in blocked shots, fouled out with 54 seconds to play, receiving a standing ovation from the crowd of 8,313 on hand.

"When I got that last stupid foul, it just kind of hit me," said an emotional Bachynski afterwards. "I'm a completely different player. Coaches have worked with me day in and day out and I've worked every day. My teammates have really, really helped me."

"It's been a long road. There were times when it was really tough and there were times when it was great and it's not over. That's what gives me the most happiness, is that if I continue to work I'll have the opportunity to continue to play and that's the biggest dream for any basketball player."

With the win, Arizona State finished the year 16-1 at Wells Fargo Arena, matching the school record for home wins in a season. The Sun Devils also finished 8-1 at home in conference play for the first time since 1980-81, winning their final eight games after dropping the conference opener to Washington.

"We're really grateful to our fans," said Head Coach Herb Sendek. "The 942 Crew and the students, they provided us with a great home court all year. When you think about it, look at our crowds and then think back to even when James (Harden) was here. So many people have put in hard work."

"And this year was the best home record in the last 40 years. It all ties together because of the tremendous support we've received. Today was a great crowd and that does make a difference."

For the second straight game, the Arizona State bench helped spark a struggling Sun Devil offense. Senior reserve Bo Barnes scored all five of his points in the first half on Saturday, when ASU opened just 6-23 from the floor. The Scottsdale native also finished with six rebounds and four assists.

Junior Jon Gilling made his first six shot attempts, finishing with 15 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Arizona State enjoyed a 25-17 advantage in bench points against the Golden Bears (18-11, 9-7 Pac-12) and a 30-16 advantage in points in the paint.

While he wasn't one of the seniors honored before the game, point guard Jahii Carson put an end to the speculation about whether he might return for a junior campaign next year, telling the media after the game that he too in fact had played his final home game at Wells Fargo Arena on Saturday.

"He's not coming back," said Sendek. "I know there were some rumblings after the last game because I think he said something along the lines of, '(Today) was the senior's afternoon.' We can count on him trying to go to the NBA next year."

"He had a brilliant two years here at Wells Fargo. If you recall, he started with such expectations, almost mythological expectations, after sitting out the year. Everybody was on the edge of their seat with bated breath. But sure enough, the bigger the stage, the brighter the lights, he handled it all with a poise and grace that was really impressive. He had a great weekend this weekend and that was a big reason why we were able to get two key victories."

Carson finished with nine points and four assists in the win.

Cobbs was one of three California players in double-figures, fishing with a team-high 15 points on 6-9 shooting. Jordan Mathews added 14 points for the Golden Bears while Kravish finished with 12.

Arizona State, which improved to 8-3 in its last 11 games, will hit the road again next week for the final two games of the regular season before heading to Las Vegas for the Pac-12 tournament. The Sun Devils face Oregon on Tuesday night. Tip-off is set for 9:00 Arizona time and will be televised on Fox Sports 1.


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