"I thought it was a pretty gutty performance," said head coach Bobby Hurley. "I really like what I saw tonight. If I could single someone out -- I usually just talk more about generalities about the team performance -- but Jaelen House (three steals) was most likely the difference maker in the game. His energy on defense...he was flying around. He had nine deflections, which if we're in the high 20s, low 30s as a team, that's a pretty good stat. He was exceptional in that department. We had a poor stretch of offense in the first half where we were stuck on 21 for a while and started the game way better than we've been starting games, so I was very happy about that."
The Sun Devils (5-8; 2-5) overcame struggles from beyond on the arc (.214) but shot 24-of-41 from inside the three-point line to hold off the Golden Bears. Senior All-American Remy Martin led the way with 19 points, followed by his help from his big men and an additional 11 points from freshman Josh Christopher.
Coach Bobby Hurley decided that he needed a starting lineup change after Monday's slow start against rival Arizona Wildcats, and his changes paid off against the Golden Bears (7-11; 2-9), as the Sun Devils got off to an immediate 17-5 lead in the first nine minutes of the first half.
Cal made just two of its first 14 shots. The Bears got back into the game with a 9-0 run that closed a 25-13 deficit to 25-22 and then took a 30-29 lead to cap a half-ending 17-4 run. The Bears had 12 offensive rebounds in the opening period and held ASU without a field goal the final 3:19 of the half.
The Sun Devils came out of the break by making back-to-back 3-pointers to take back the lead. Cal, though, used a 7-0 spurt to move in front, 48-47, on a pair of Bradley free throws. ASU later went ahead for good on a layup by Marcus Bagley with 8:03 left.
The Sun Devils led for most of the way (33:37 with the lead) and never trailed by more than two points. It got a solid performance from senior Kimani Lawrence, who posted nine points and eight boards in just 22 minutes.
NOTES:Marcus Bagley led ASU with four assists...ASU had 20 points off Cal turnovers...ASU held Cal to .393 (24-of-61) from the field...Matt Bradley was just 4-of-17 from three against ASU in two games...ASU had eight steals.
NEXT UP: The Sun Devils will host the 10-5 Stanford Cardinal on Saturday at 8 p.m MT on ESPN2, with Dave Pasch and Bill Walton on the call.