TEMPE, Ariz. — Evan Gordon scored 23 points, while Ruslan Pateev had 12 points and eight rebounds as the Arizona State men’s basketball team held on to beat Cal 66-62 on Thursday.
The Sun Devils (18-5, 7-3 Pac-12 Conference) went up 16 points after a 17-3 run in the first half and kept the lead around double digits until the Bears (13-9, 5-5) tightened up defensively in the closing minutes.
Justin Cobbs hit a 3-pointer to cut Arizona State’s lead to three and followed Gordon’s two free throws with another trey to pull the Bears within 64-62 with 22 seconds left.
Gordon went 1-of-2 from the free-throw line at the other end to give Cal a chance, but the Sun Devils forced Allen Crabbe into a turnover with 9 seconds left. Jonathan Gilling sealed it by hitting one of two free throws after that.
Crabbe and Tyrone Wallace had 16 points apiece to lead the Bears.
Jahii Carson had 12 points, but also committed five of Arizona State’s 17 turnovers. Pateev provided an unexpected lift after scoring four points and grabbing five rebounds the three previous games combined.
Cal has had an up-and-down season, but was coming off its best win of the season, a 58-54 victory over No. 10 Oregon on Saturday. It wasn’t pretty — the Bears shot 35 percent and had to rally in the closing minutes — but it was their first win over a top-10 team in more than five years.
The best defensive stretch of the season sparked Cal’s rally from an eight-point deficit in the final 6 minutes against Oregon, but the defense was nowhere to be found early against Arizona State.