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Arizona State Sun Devils

Efficiency continues to haunt Arizona State, split season series with Cal

© Joe Camporeale | 2024 Feb 3

The Arizona State Sun Devils (11-11, 5-6 in Pac-12) men’s basketball team dropped its fourth-straight game in an 81-66 loss to the California Golden Bears (9-13, 5-6 in Pac-12) Saturday.

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Arizona State continues to struggle

The Sun Devils once again could not get buckets to fall. Despite having 16 more shot attempts than the Golden Bears, they converted the same amount of field goals.

“We had the same amount of field goals as they did, they just shot a better percentage from the field and from three,” ASU head coach Bobby Hurley said. “We really didn’t do the job we needed to do defensively.”

Unlike their game against Stanford, the Sun Devils started slow as they trailed 10-2 just four minutes into the game.

One big surprise is that Sun Devils’ senior guard Jose Perez did not play in the second half. Hurley explained that it was a “Coach’s decision.”

Arizona State made a few runs throughout the game but the Golden Bears had an answer every time. Cal had the game’s three highest scorers in Fardaws Aimaq, Jalen Cone, and Jaylon Tyson.

This was the second matchup of the season between these two teams. They faced off in late December where ASU made a huge second-half comeback resulting in a victory.


Key Stats

Arizona State: Field goals: 27/70 (38.6%), 3 Pointers: 8/24 (33.3%), Free throws: 4/7 (57.1%)

Cal: Field goals: 27/54 (50%), 3 Pointers: 11/22 (50%), Free throws: 16/19 (84.2%)


Arizona State: 31 total rebounds, 9 turnovers, 11 points off turnovers

Cal: 35 total rebounds, 12 turnovers, 8 points off turnovers


What needs to change?

The Sun Devils have now lost six of their last seven games, with all being in-conference matchups.

A factor that has been in play for each loss is the team’s shooting inconsistencies. This has needed to change for several games but the team continues to struggle from beyond the arc.

Arizona State next faces the Colorado Buffaloes (15-7, 6-5 in Pac-12) on Thursday, Feb. 8 @ 6 p.m. MST.

This will be one of their most difficult matchups yet as the Buffaloes have elite talent, including three potiential first-round 2024 NBA draft picks.

ASU needs every victory possible to have a chance to enter the NCAA Tournament in March.


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Saleh Awwad is a writer/reporter covering the Arizona State Sun Devils, Phoenix High School Sports, and more for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on X via @SalehAwwad_

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