Just about everything was going in right direction for the ASU men’s basketball team in the first half of the Sun Devils’ game at California on Wednesday, but that was all about to go to waste when the Golden Bears rallied and took a 3-point lead with 25 seconds left in the game.
ASU senior guard Jermaine Marshall, whose groin injury was still affecting him, didn’t let California run away.
With 17 seconds left, Marshall drained a clutch 3-pointer from the right wing to force the game into overtime.
The Sun Devils (16-5, 5-3 Pac-12) held and outscored California 15-5 in overtime to defeat the Golden Bears (14-7, 5-3 Pac-12), 89-78. It was ASU’s biggest win of the season, as the Sun Devils earned their second road win against a team that is considered as a top-three Pac-12 team.
ASU redshirt sophomore point guard Jahii Carson once again came up huge on the road, finishing the game with 29 points and seven assists. Eleven of his points came in overtime.
Carson needed to bring his best, as California junior point guard Justin Cobbs also carried his team on his back and had 21 points and three assists.
Despite ASU’s hot start, foul trouble and questionable calls hampered the Sun Devils early and nearly cost them later in the game. ASU senior center Jordan Bachyski picked up his second foul less than two minutes into the game and fouled out midway through overtime. Carson and Cobbs attacked each other with dribble penetration as both players defended conservatively through foul trouble.
Without Bachynski, ASU jumped out on a 9-0 run early into the game and maintained a 42-30 lead at halftime. ASU shot 53.1 percent from the field in the first half while holding California to 40 percent shooting. The Sun Devils had the advantage in a game that was played with a quick tempo and had 15 fastbreak points while only allowing one offensive rebound.
ASU held a similar pace at the start of the second half, but California prevented the Sun Devils from scoring inside and got within five points near the 10-minute mark. ASU got back up to 10 points a few minutes after, but the Golden Bears charged back and went on a 12-4 run to take the lead at 72-69 before Marshall’s 3-pointer.
Cobbs and sophomore guard Tyrone Wallace combined for 25 points in the second half to help give California its first lead since it led 3-2 in the opening minutes of the first half.
The Sun Devils continued to thrive on the boards as they outrebounded the Golden Bears 39-32 to hand California its third consecutive loss after it won its first five conference games.
Marshall started slowly, but he finished the game with 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting and six rebounds. ASU senior forward Shaquielle McKissic had 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting.
The Sun Devils’ two recent breakout players continued to play well. Sophomore center Eric Jacobsen had seven points on 3-of-3 shooting and six rebounds, while redshirt junior guard Bo Barnes had eight points on 3-of-4 shooting and three boards. Both players didn’t see much time in the second half, though, when they each picked up their third fouls early in the period.
As ASU is on its Bay Area road trip, the Sun Devils won’t play again until Saturday at Stanford, where No. 1 UA squeezed out a close 60-57 win against the Cardinal on Wednesday night.
Reach the reporter at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @Josh_Nacion