By Connor Johnson, SDA Student Assistant
The Arizona State men’s basketball team used a dominant offensive performance in the second half to defeat the visiting California Golden Bears (18-11, 9-7) 78-60 on Senior ayin Tempe, Ariz. Saturday. The win moved ASU’s home record on the year to 16-1, the team’s best mark since the 1974-75 team opened up Wells Fargo Arena with a 14-0 record.
"Obviously, it’s an afternoon we can all be really thrilled for our seniors. We have a really diverse and special group of men who have taken a very unique path to be here,” Head Coach Herb Sendek said. “It’s always good to win. On senior night, to play the way we did, to give a nice tribute to those guys is extra special.”
“We’re really grateful to our fans,” Sendek said. “The students provided us with a great and consistent home court all year.”
The Sun Devils received strong efforts from three of its seniors, as Jordan Bachynski (eight points, seven rebounds, four blocks), Jermaine Marshall (22 points, 7-11 fg, 6-8 3-ptrs) and Shaquielle McKissic (10 points, six rebounds, four assists) led ASU to a strong victory in their final career home game.
Marshall was active all game long and scored 10 of ASU’s first 15 points to help carry the Sun Devils through a poor shooting performance in the first half.
Arizona State got off to a rough start offensively, making only four of its first 17 shots, and wound up shooting 9-27 (33 percent) in the first half. However, ASU was able to keep it close thanks to some stifling defense of their own, holding Cal to 10-28 shooting (36 percent) in the game’s first 20 minutes.
Jonathan Gilling, who finished with 15 points and five rebounds, hit a three-pointer with 40 seconds remaining in the first half gave ASU a 29-24 lead heading into halftime.
From that point on, it was all Arizona State.
The Sun Devils put on an offensive clinic in the second half, hitting 16 of their first 19 and opening up a large lead they were able to hold for the rest of the game.
Bachynski and Jahii Carson were able to ignite ASU during their hot-shooting second half. Bachynski scored all eight of his points in the second half with a beautiful array of post moves down low and Carson was able to drive the lane and facilitate things a lot better in the game’s final 20 minutes.
Carson finished with nine points and four assists and played a huge role in Arizona State’s dominating second half. The Sun Devils were able to control the ball all game long, finishing with 20 assists and just six turnovers as a team.
After going 0-4 from the field in the first half, Bachynski came out strong in the second half, scoring 4 quick points and recording another block, his third of the game.
Following a Ricky Kreklow layup that cut ASU’s lead to four, the Sun Devils responded with an 10-0 run to take a 44-30 lead with 15:31 remaining.
Arizona State continued to shoot the ball well, and held a 57-40 lead with just under 11 minutes left to play following a vicious reverse dunk by McKissic.
Cal was able to get within 11, but the Golden Bears just couldn’t stop ASU’s second half offensive onslaught and trailed by more than 15 for much of the second half.
The Golden Bears were led by senior guard Justin Cobbs, who finished with 15 points, and junior forward David Kravish, who finished with 12 points and eight rebounds.
Next up for Arizona State is a road trip to Oregon, where they will play the University of Oregon on Tuesday and Oregon State on Saturday.