Cal Basketball: Bears Score 75 Points, But Still Lose to Arizona State
Cal scored 75 points on Sunday. That's the most the Bears have scored in a Pac-12 game this season. Matt Bradley had a huge second half, scoring 20 of his 22 points after halftime. Grant Anticevich added 18 points, and Paris Austin had 17.
The Bears shot a respectable 44.4 percent from the field, made 7 of 18 three-pointers, and committed 10 turnovers.
It all sounds impressive, and it is. For a Bears team that entered the game ranked 335th of 350 Division I schools in scoring with its controlled style of play, this amounted to an offensive explosion.
But when they score 75 points, they expect to win.
Thanks primarily to the offensive wizardry of Arizona State guard Remy Martin at a pivotal juncture of the game, the Sun Devils came away with their fifth straight victory, an 80-75 victory over Cal at Haas Pavilion.
"Sometimes in defeat you play well," Cal coach Mark Fox said afterward. "In a lot of ways it was a step forward, but we came to win the game, and we didn't do that."
While Arizona State (17-8, 8-4 Pac-12) is tied for second place, just a half-game behind first-place Colorado, the Bears (10-15, 4-8) continue to sink in the standings. They sit in 11th place with six games to go after losing their fourth straight game. Two weeks ago, they were 4-4 with high hopes. Now . . .
Bradley was limited to six minutes and two points in the first half because of foul trouble, picking up his second foul just 1:15 into the game. Fox had changed his lineup a little, starting freshman Joel Brown instead of Kareem South. But it didn't pay off.
"We felt we had a better matchup," said Fox explaining the lineup change. [But] that went out the window when Cal got into foul trouble."
But Bradley responded in a big way in the second half, keeping Cal in the game. The Bears trailed by just a point with 10:22 remaining when Bradley nailed a three-pointer and got back to within a point again 54-53 with 8:32 to go.
But as good as Bradley was, Martin was better. He scored 15 points in the final 11 minutes of the game, and his performance during a span that lasted 1:40 took Cal out of the game.
With Cal trailing 60-58, Martin scored from close range with 6:01 left. He nailed a three-pointer at the 5:51 mark, made one of two free throws with 4:51 remaining, and drove the lane before deftly feeding Jalen Graham for an uncontested dunk. with 4:20 let, ASU led by eight at 66-58.
"At the end, you have to tip your hat to Remy Martin," Fox said. "He made some terrific plays."
When Cal cut it to five a few minutes later, Martin made a three-pointer to restore the eight-point lead with 2:12 left.
"At the end of the game he made some big shots," Austin said. "That's what good players do."
Alonzo Verge Jr. also scored 22 points for ASU, but while Verge was 6-for-16, including 0-for-2 on three-pointers, Martin made 7 of his 10 field-goal attempts while hitting three of his three-point shots.
Martin also had five assists, and did his scoring when it mattered most.
It overshadowed the strong second-half performance by Bradley, who scored his 22 points in only 22 minutes of court time.
"Matt's a warrior," Austin said. "I'd pick him on my team any time."