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Arizona State Comes From Behind Again to Beat Cal 71-69.

Arizona State just cannot stop performing second-half comebacks. The Sun Devils were down as much as 16 early in the second half, but again it doesn’t matter for the fighting Bobby Hurleys. They beat Cal 71-69 to move to 2-0 in conference play.

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Frankie Collins had another great game, maybe his best game as a Sun Devil. He finished with a career-high 25 points and six steals. Kamari Lands was the only other player to make it over 10 points. He finished with 11. It really looked like this would be one the Sun Devils wouldn’t be able to come back from, but Cal collapsed late, and ASU was able to find their stride and shot.

Cal was not able to keep up their hot offensive stretch. They’ve been basically automatic at getting over 70 points but only had 69 tonight. Jaylon Tyson and Fardaws Aimaq had fantastic games, with Tyson reaching 20 and Aimaq getting 17. Keonte Kennedy had 11, but Jalen Cone only had 9. Cal also had ten turnovers in the second half, which is ASU’s specialty.

First Half

Arizona State averaged 28.8 points in the first half this season and is ranked 334th. That didn’t change tonight.

It started off like a good game. Each team hit shots back and forth til it was 14-12 Cal, but then Cal went on a 10-0 run that included five straight points from Jaylon Tyson.

Arizona State did keep it within reach for the rest of the half, with Alonzo Gaffney, Adam Miller, and Collins hitting threes. So, the lead never ballooned out of reach, but it didn’t get closer than six. The Sun Devils would allow Cal to go on a mini-run to take a ten-point lead heading to halftime 35-25. That’s three points lower than ASU’s first-half average.

Frankie Collins led the Sun Devils with eight points, while Miller tacked on five. Cal’s Tyson finished with 10, while Kennedy finished with 9, and Aimaq had 7.

Cal shot 28% from the field but only 13% from three, which is very low for them. Arizona State shot 31% from the field and 38% from three but had seven turnovers, most coming from bad passes. Arizona State missed way too many wide-open shots early in this one.

Second Half

Cal went on an 8-2 run to start the second half and immediately held a sixteen-point lead that really felt insurmountable for the Sun Devils.

However, if we have learned anything from Hurley’s squad, it’s that they don’t give up. Kamari Lands hit two threes, and Frankie Collins got a three-point play to drop the lead to five with 7:47 remaining. Cal had a 56-51 lead.

It took three more minutes for that to lead to change when Jamiya Neal made a layup to bring it within two. In two minutes, ASU went from being down six to up two after three free throws after a Jose Perez layup. It would then go back and forth until Alonzo Gaffney made a clutch dunk to take the lead.

The Sun Devils would force a turnover, and Frankie Collins would make a layup to basically seal it. Cal would get one more chance, but Tyson could not make the buzzer-beater, and the Sun Devils emerged victorious 71-69.

Collins would score 17 points in the second half to win, while Lands would score 11 after having none in the first half. It would be the second halftime comeback in a row for the Sun Devils and the 43rd in the Bobby Hurley era. Aimaq, Tyson, and Grant Newell each had 10 points for the Bears. However, Cal had ten turnovers, and the press got to them.

The Sun Devils move to 7-5 and 2-0 in conference, while Cal drops to 4-9 and 0-2 in conference. Arizona State heads home this week to face Utah and Colorado, who are two of the best teams in the conference.

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