The California Golden Bears (2-2, 0-1 Pac-12) dropped a winnable game, 62-70, to the No. 25 Arizona State Sun Devils (3-1, 1-0 Pac-12) to start Pac-12 conference play Thursday.
California stayed competitive, especially in the first half, but missed open shots and let the game slip away with costly turnovers. The home team turned over the ball 20 times, and Arizona State capitalized. The Sun Devils had 19 points from Cal's turnovers.
“Good teams make you pay for mistakes, and Arizona State did that today,” California Head Coach Mark Fox said in a post-game press conference. “We made too many errors that cost us a chance to win, but we did a lot of things, if we can repeat them, will give us a chance to win.”
Junior guard Matt Bradley had a strong game, putting 20 points and eight rebounds on the board, both team highs for California. Unfortunately, he was cold from downtown, making only one out of nine three-point attempts.
Ryan Betley scored 10 points and pulled down five rebounds for the Golden Bears.
Betley, the graduate transfer from the University of Pennsylvania, noted his side played 37 competitive minutes in the post-game press conference, referring to his team's end-of-game scoring drought that allowed the Sun Devils to clinch the game.
“We’re just learning how to win right now, especially down the stretch,” Betley said.
Check out the Write for California Watch-Along below for more reactions:
You could tell the pain in Rob's voice with the refs and turnovers by the end. We are very close to being upper mid pack of the pac 12.
I'm still not missing Wyking Jones.
Who's going to win first? Football Bears or Basketball Bears?
Along with Matt's scoring and rebounds his smack talking and getting in the face of his opponents was EPIC!! I'm glad he's on our team.
Brown's weakness is like nearly existential. You can't be a PG that shoots 40% free throws and win close games.
What was the final score?
Too many turnovers but def getting closer...Betley had a couple of huge ones down the stretch. ASU is pretty solid - hopefully Bagley’s injury isn’t Achilles. Cal’s gonna struggle to pull the upset most nights in an empty Haas, esp. if Matty goes 1-9 from 3...
I love Brown’s energy but the FT shooting really hurts...def coulda used Hyder tonight. But fair to say progress is evident.