TEMPE, AZ - Evan Gordon scored 23 points, Ruslan Pateev had 12 points and eight rebounds, and Arizona State held on to beat California 66-62 Thursday night.
Arizona State (18-5, 7-3 Pac-12) 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 to pull the Bears within 64-62 with 22 seconds left.
Gordon hit 1 of 2 from the 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 1 of 2 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 D was nowhere to be found early against Arizona State.
The Sun Devils shot 62 percent in a 96-92 loss to Washington on Saturday and were still hot at the start against Cal.
Arizona State made 7 of its first 11 shots and kept making them, using a 17-3 run to jump out to a 25-9 lead. Carson was the facilitator instead of scorer, finding Gilling in transition for a 3-pointer and setting up Gordon for a three-point play that put the Sun Devils up 14.
The Bears struggled just as much on offense, going nearly eight minutes without a field goal while turning it over seven times in the first 11 minutes.
Cal rallied with a 10-0 run, but Gordon kept scoring (13 points) and the Sun Devils got a big boost from their big Russian, Pateev, who had a pair of dunks while scoring eight points. Arizona State hit 15 of 30 shots to lead 37-27 at halftime.
The Sun Devils kept the lead at double digits for most of the second half, thanks to Gordon and Pateev.
Gordon opened the second half with a 3-pointer from the corner and set up Carrick Felix for a dunk with a backdoor bounce pass. Pateev grabbed an offensive rebound and hit a cutting Gordon for a layup, then flipped in a left-handed hook and a couple of head fakes that drew "ohhs!" from the home crowd. Pateev extended another possession with a back-tap on a rebound and capped it with a basket inside, earning a chant of "Teev!" from the crowd.
Cal rallied after that, though, changing its defense to slow the Sun Devils, who spent the closing minutes taking tough shots against the shot clock to let the Bears back in it.
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