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ASU Basketball: Sun Devils snap six-game skid with win over Cal

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Back in the win column

NCAA Basketball: California at Arizona State Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona State returned to Desert Financial Arena for a weekend series against Cal and Stanford on Thursday. The Sun Devils (5-8, 2-5 Pac-12) finally snapped their six-game losing streak and claimed a season sweep against the Golden Bears (7-11, 2-9), with a 72-68 victory.

Arizona State got out to a hot start, gaining a 25-13 lead and shooting 11-19 from the field. However, Cal would respond, ending the half on a 17-4 run, carrying a one-point lead into halftime. ASU went cold, shooting 1-for-9 from the field in the final 6:46 of the first half.

The second half was back-and-forth as both teams traded baskets throughout. Due to the great second-half shooting from Bobby Hurley’s squad, the Sun Devils were able to start to separate themselves from Cal after a 3-point shot from freshman Josh Christopher with under six minutes remaining.

The rest of the way was all ASU as the Golden Bears tried to cut the deficit, but couldn’t as they went over six minutes without a made field goal.

In addition, multiple key shots down the stretch, including an acrobatic layup from sophomore Jaelen House, pushed Arizona State to the end to seal the win.

The Sun Devil defense held the second-ranked 3-point shooting team in the Pac-12 to just four conversions from deep in the second half. The defense also forced 14 turnovers on the night, leading to 20 points.

Senior point guard Remy Martin, sophomore Jalen Graham and freshman guard Josh Christopher led the way on offense, scoring 42 of the team’s 72 total points. Verge and House were the only two bench scorers, combining for 12 points.

ASU improves to 5-8 on the season with Thursday’s win and will take on the Cardinal this Saturday at 8:00 p.m. on ESPN2.