(Photo: Scotty Bara/WCSN)
The Arizona State Sun Devils collected their first road victory of the year in dominant fashion, defeating the California Golden Bears 79 -44. Senior guard Bo Barnes was the leading scorer tonight for ASU with 17 points, while the Bears’ leading scorer was sophomore guard Jordan Matthews with 11.
Junior center Eric Jacobsen established himself down low early, making his first four shots and showing more assertiveness down low than we have seen as of late. Thanks to his strong play as well as the impressive ball movement on the offensive end, ASU went on a 22-0 run over a 12:35 stretch.
During the scoring drought, Cal missed 12-consecutive shots and turned the ball over six times. Cal commits the least amount of turnovers per game in the Pac-12, but the first half was a different story, committing 11 turnovers in the first 20 minutes.
ASU finished the first half on a tear, jumping out to a 34-13 lead and only turning the ball over twice. Jacobsen led the way at half with nine points, but the story for the Devils was their defense. Cal shot 24 percent and only made four shots in the first half, none of them from beyond the three point line.
ASU coasted to the finish line and it was all smiles for the rest of the game, especially from Barnes, who scored 12 of his 17 points in the second half. And just like that, ASU is on its first winning streak since December 28, and got its first road game marked in the win column.
Players of the game: Tra Holder and Kodi Justice
In a game against one of the best backcourts in the Pac-12, these two freshmen stepped up and led this team to its first road win. No matter which one was on the floor, ASU was controlling the tempo of the game. Holder looked much more confident and got into the lane much more frequently than normally, and when he got there he knew exactly what to do with the ball. Justice, who is usually more on the fearless side, showed that characteristic tonight getting into the lane and creating opportunities, and had a hot night shooting as well, tallying a career-high 16 points.
Stat of the Night: 27 points off turnovers
Typically, ASU is the one shooting themselves in the foot with the turnovers, but tonight they only committed 10, and forced 19 on the defensive end. Not only that, but they capitalized on those turnovers as well.
Biggest Concern: Roosevelt Scott and Connor MacDougall
It was revealed during the broadcast that the two did not make the trip down to Berkeley due to a violation of team rules, but what the nature of the violation is unknown.
ASU travels to Palo Alto, California to take on the Stanford Cardinal on Saturday.