“One more question, please!”
Zylan Cheatham wasn’t ready for his last home game press conference to end. It was an emotional Senior Night for Cheatham and De’Quon Lake who both played their hearts out in a 69-59 win over Cal. It was Arizona State's third consecutive win.
Both seniors were on the court embracing fans for several minutes after the game was over.
“It’s the least we can do,” Cheatham said about the time he spends with the fans.
The emotional lift of Senior Night may have contributed to a slow start, but the Sun Devils came out inspired in the second half and handed Cal their 16th straight loss.
Luguentz Dort led the Sun Devils with 22 points on 6-of-11 shooting and Rob Edwards continued his hot streak contributing 16 points of his own, 14 coming in the second half. Dort was also a menace on the defensive end forcing turnovers and locking down the opposition on the perimeter. ASU head coach Hurley praised Dort’s defensive prowess post game.
“Lu’s individual defense is as good as I’ve seen this season,” Hurley said.
The first half was ugly. The Sun Devils shot 7-of-27 from the field and had seven turnovers with only three assists. This coming against a Cal team ranked 351st (out of 351 teams) in FG% against.
The Sun Devils were down 34-28 at the end of the first half, similar to the 35-33 deficit they faced at the half the first time these two teams played this year.
The second half was a completely different story. Energized by Cheatham and Edwards, the Sun Devils started the half with a 12-3 run to take the lead. From there, they never looked back and cruised to victory.
Remy Martin had a quiet night shooting the ball, but made some highlight reel passes that really energized the crowd in the Wells Fargo Arena.
Matt Bradley was the lone bright spot for a Cal team in the midst of an awful season. Bradley shot 8-of-13 from the field and 5-of-7 from three point territory. Paris Austin added 10 points and was the only other Cal player who scored in double figures.
ASU is currently fighting to stay in the tournament and a loss against an abysmal Cal team would have been extremely detrimental to their chances. After their final home game tonight, they have three road games against Oregon, Oregon St, and rival Arizona to finish the regular season.
The Sun Devils look to finish strong and earn their spot in the tourney. They take on Oregon on Thursday at 7:00 p.m.