Romello White stated the importance of winning the front half of a Pac-12 road trip:
“If we lose the first game, the vibe is just down and we have to stay in that state. Everybody is just down that we lost, and we got to go back and play another game,” he said. “I encourage them to let’s win the first game, then everything is going to be good. We’re out there having fun, eating, everything is going to be good.”
The Arizona State Sun Devils must’ve realized what White said. ASU once again started the night shooting poorly. At one point, the Sun Devils were 1-for-13 from the field and 0-for-8 from three until freshman guard Luguentz Dort hit a three-pointer with 10:56 left in the first half.
The cold shooting led to the California Golden Bears having a 14-point lead in the first half. However, ASU (11-4, 2-1 Pac-12) quickly erased the deficit and controlled the second half to win 80-66 over Cal (5-10, 0-3).
Sophomore guard Remy Martin, who came off the bench for the second straight game, rallied the Sun Devils in the first half. Martin had 12 points after Cal went up 14. His mid-range jumpers and pair of three pointers got the Sun Devils within two at halftime. Martin finished with a game-high 24 points and eight assists, once he came in, the offense’s ball movement improved.
Redshirt senior forward Zylan Cheatham scored the first six points of the second half, which gave ASU its first lead of the game since 2-0 to start the contest. Of Cheatham’s 17 points, 13 of them came in the second half.
After ASU and Cal went back-and-forth for the first few minutes after the break, a Cheatham and-one with 15:59 left put the Sun Devils up for good as they never relinquished the lead. Over the last 26 minutes and change ASU outscored the Bears by 28 points.
Cal shot 43% in the first half, but with ASU adjustments and Cal maybe shooting more like themselves only shot 31% in the second half.
ASU with now look for their first road Pac-12 sweep under head coach Bobby Hurley when they head to Stanford on Saturday.