(Photo: Scotty Bara/WCSN)
Arizona State (16-5, 5-3) opened up a 16-point lead early in the second half but had to fight their way to a 89-78 overtime victory over the Cal Bears (14-7, 5-3) Wednesday night at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, Calif.
With 45 seconds remaining in regulation, guard Justin Cobbs made a layup to give Cal their first lead 70-69 since 18:06 early in the first half. Forward David Kravish then made two more free throws to widen the lead to 72-69 with 25 seconds left in the second half. The Sun Devils inbounded the ball, point guard Jahii Carson took it just inside the three point arc and flipped the ball to shooting guard Jermaine Marshall behind him who made a clutch three pointer to tie the game with 17.7 seconds remaining and send it to overtime.
It looked like the Sun Devils might be in for a long night early in the contest. Center Jordan Bachynski picked up two fouls just 90 seconds into the game. Carson and center Eric Jacobsen each had two as well by the 8:30 mark of the first half. Despite the foul trouble, ASU got out to an early 17-7 lead maintaining a ten-point margin for a majority of the first half as they headed into the locker room up 42-30. Carson and Cobbs both put on a blistering fast display of talent in the first frame.
The Bears slowly chipped away at the Sun Devils lead in the second half finally bringing the ASU lead down to just five points with 10:04 remaining in the game. The maroon and gold continued to hold on tight for the next nine minutes before Cobbs’ layup set into motion the events that led to the nail-biting overtime period.
Carson led the way for ASU with 29 points and seven assists. Marshall found his groove again after recovering from a groin injury contributing 22 points of his own including the clutch three pointer in the waning seconds of regulation. Forward Shaquielle McKissic also added 12 points and six rebounds for the Sun Devils. Guard Bo Barnes and forward Jon Gilling led ASU off the bench with eight and seven points respectively.
The Sun Devils shot an impressive 28-58, good for 48 percent from the field while shooting 9 of 19 from beyond the arc. Despite Bachynski sitting on the bench with foul trouble, ASU still managed to outrebound the Bears 39 32. ASU also made 24-33 from the charity stripe good for 73 percent on the night. Cobbs led the Bears with 21 points in the loss.
ASU now heads across the bay to Palo Alto to face off against the Stanford Cardinal at 2 p.m MT on Saturday afternoon
You can reach this reporter via email email@example.com or on twitter @NickPKrueger