ASU men's basketball hangs on late to beat Golden Bears

The Sun Devils had eight players score six or more points

In the final game of a Northern California road trip, the ASU men’s basketball team held on in a physical contest to capture an 81-73 win over the University of California, Berkley Golden Bears (7-13, 1-6 Pac-12). 

At first glance, you might expect the Sun Devils to fall short of victory with senior guards Shannon Evans II and Kodi Justice combining for 13 points.

However, with ASU’s bench racking up 50.6 percent (41) of the Sun Devils’ points, it is no wonder the Sun Devils nabbed their third conference win of the season.

Sophomore forward Mickey Mitchell, who is usually in the starting lineup, tallied 12 points, 11 rebounds and a pair of blocks coming off the bench.

Mitchell’s partner in crime for the evening was none other than senior guard Tra Holder.

Holder, who scored double figures just once in his last three games, added 13 points and four assists as he continues to ease out of his slump.

Despite once having a 16-point lead over the Golden Bears, this game was anything but uncontested for the Sun Devils.

Cal’s senior forward Marcus Lee dominated the paint from start to finish. Lee’s 23 points made him the highest scorer of the game.

 Lee’s eight rebounds were also the most on his team. 

The Golden Bears were clawing back in the game throughout the middle of the second half. Even so, a 13-5 run just was not enough to stop ASU’s scoring parade.

The Sun Devils finished the night shooting 48 percent from the field and from three-point land. 

Cal fans helplessly watched as eight of the nine ASU players who played tonight scored six or more points. 

Those who witnessed the Sun Devils’ scoring bonanza during non-conference play are well aware of the team’s ability to sink shot after shot. However, tonight’s game featured an uncharacteristic stat that’s a progressive step toward ASU getting back on a winning streak – rebounding.

For the first time since Jan. 7, the Sun Devils out-rebounded their opponent (39 to 30).

With a five-day break prior to a home contest against the University of Utah Utes, Sun Devil fans can rest easy knowing the team has time to recover.  

Nevertheless, Holder and company have yet to win back-to-back Pac-12 games this season, and with two home games on deck, it’s anyone’s guess which ASU squad will show up on Thursday.


Reach the reporter at atotri@asu.edu or follow @Anthony_Totri on Twitter.   

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