When it comes to basketball, there are games when neither team can get the ball to go through the net, no matter how good their opportunities are. In these games, singular moments defined by hustle plays that rarely have to do with scoring dictate a winner.
On Saturday night, it was not a buzzer-beater that gave ASU (18-8, 9-6 Pac-12) a 70-62 overtime-victory over Cal (3-22, 2-12). It was Desmond Cambridge Jr making a hustle play.
Up by 1 point with under a minute to play, Cambridge Jr. tracked down a missed-ASU free-throw, saved it from going out of bounds, and found DJ Horne to drill a jumper to go up by 3 points.
When Cal drained a three-pointer seconds later to send the game to overtime, it became clear how clutch Cambridge Jr.’s play was.
Slower start than usual
With forward Warren Washington out for a second game in-a-row with COVID, it looked like Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley was going to mix things up at Cal.
Duke Brennan received his first career start and scored 7 of the team’s first 11 points. Reserve big-men Enoch Boakye and John Olmsted received early first-half minutes. But Cal hung around much longer than they were supposed to. In fact, the Golden Bears never went away.
While they had the upper-hand for most of the first-half, the Sun Devils shot a measly 37.9% (11-29) from the field. They could only go up from there, right?
Wrong. The Sun Devils would finish the game shooting under-35% from the field. So when the team could not generate offense, Cambridge Jr. (24 points) led the way.
- Cal scored 28 points off the bench. ASU had 2 bench points.
- Both teams shot under 35% from the field.
- The Sun Devils collected 20 offensive rebounds, but only generated 17 second-chance points.
- ASU continues its streak of forcing 10 turnovers or more in every conference game this season.
ASU will host the mountain schools, Colorado and Utah, next week in Tempe.