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ASU men's basketball beats California with ease, 84-53

Kodi Justice became the 37th member of ASU's 1,000 point-club in Thursday's win


ASU senior guard Kodi Justice (44) drives toward the hoop in the second half of the Sun Devils' 84-53 victory over the California Golden Bears at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, Arizona, on Thursday, March 1, 2018.

After suffering its only three-game losing streak of the season, ASU men’s basketball bounced back in blowout fashion by beating California at Wells Fargo Arena 84-53 on Thursday evening. 

This Sun Devils team has been led by its senior trio, but against the Golden Bears, it was freshmen who led the way. 

The Sun Devils (20-9, 8-9 in Pac-12) ramped up the scoring in the second half, extending their lead to 18 points. Redshirt freshman forward Romello White, however, was a force inside, knocking down a right-hook jumper and throwing down a dunk to start the half.

That was the beginning of what ended up being a 31-point rout for the Sun Devils.  

White notched his third double-double in conference play, finishing with 13 points and 11 rebounds. He has drastically improved his low-post offensive skill throughout the course of the season, something he's been trying to improve on. 

“Really just working on my game,” White said. “Working on my moves because at the beginning of the season, I had like one move I would usually go to. After a while, people starting getting on to it. So, Coach Hurley, my guards, were telling me I have to use my left hand and use pump-fakes. So, I tried to mix it up today, I feel like I did that.” 

Freshman forward Kimani Lawrence influenced many areas of the game, ending the game with nine points, four blocks and two steals. 

“Kimani is just a good all-around player,” ASU head coach Bobby Hurley said post-game. “He moved without the ball, he got a couple of put-backs on offensive rebounds, deflections, he had a key steal in the first half when we were in zone. Just using his length and getting the deflections and some big defensive rebounds. We need all those little things from him when he’s in the game."

After an inefficient nine-point performance in ASU’s loss to Oregon State, senior guard Shannon Evans II redeemed himself against California. He contributed 14 points on 6-9 shooting.

Senior forward Kodi Justice only finished with four points but became the 37th member of ASU’s 1,000 point-club. 

California, meanwhile, continued to struggle as it has all season. The Golden Bears (8-22, 2-15 in Pac-12) went 0-for-18 from three-point range and shot a substandard 34 percent from the field the entire game. 

To ASU’s defensive credit, time after time, it contested three-pointers and was aggressive with its low-post defense. 

“Our defense was solid,” Hurley said. “It was probably, maybe, the lowest point total in league play that we’ve given up so far this year. It was a good all-around game.” 

ASU concludes its season with a home matchup against Stanford on Saturday, with tip-off slated at 12:30 p.m.

Reach the reporter at or follow @felipecorraljr on Twitter.  

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