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ASU Basketball: Sun Devils defeat Golden Bears to start conference play with a win

Remy and Haas

NCAA Basketball: Arizona State at California D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

Remy Martin. The Haas Pavilion in Berkeley is home to Martin’s best basketball as he put on a show last night. Entering his fourth and final matchup there, Martin was an outstanding 20-for-31 from the field, while shooting over 83 percent from beyond the arc.

Martin capped off his career at Haas Pavilion with a 22-point performance, adding five assists and four rebounds. His final stats at Cal are 20.5 points and 5.25 assists per game.

Martin’s 22 points led the Sun Devils (3-1, 1-0 Pac-12) to a 70-62 victory over the Golden Bears (2-3, 0-1).

Last night’s win marks the second time over Bobby Hurley’s six seasons at Arizona State that the Sun Devils start conference play 1-0 and it’s the program’s first road win in a conference opener since 2016.

Along with the strong performance from Martin, freshman phenom Josh Christopher reached double-figures for the fourth straight game to start his collegiate career, scoring 14 points on 6-for-12 shooting.

The matchup was back-and-forth the entire way, including 14 lead changes in the first half and a tight 35-34 ASU lead after 20 minutes. Despite the Golden Bears constant comeback attempts, the Sun Devils held a lead the entire second half.

Arizona State struggled from beyond the arc, shooting 28.6 percent, but Holland Woods hit three shots from deep, including one late in the game to expand the Sun Devil lead to 66-62 with just over two minutes remaining, before a Martin layup to extend it to 68-62.

The ASU defense picked up in the second half, holding Cal to 37 percent shooting in the final 20 minutes and forcing 20 turnovers throughout the game.

Thursday’s win did not come with all positives though, as freshman forward Marcus Bagley went down with an injury late in the second half.

It appeared that he was holding his ankle/achilles area and it looked bad from the first look. Since then, the Sun Devils believe it is not as serious as they thought and the full extent is yet to be determined.

The Sun Devils expand their winning streak against the Golden Bears to six games. Hurley has started 3-1 or better in each of his six seasons at ASU.

ASU will continue play next Thursday when it welcomes San Diego State to Tempe, eyeing a 4-1 start for the fourth consecutive year.