TEMPE, Ariz. -- Five days after upsetting the No. 10 team in the country at home, Cal came up just short on the road Thursday night against the Pac-12's third-best team.
The Bears rallied from a 15-point deficit with 9:30 left in the game but fell to Arizona State 66-62 in front of 6,010 at Wells Fargo Arena. Cal (13-9, 5-5) trailed for the entire game, getting as close as two points with less than 30 seconds left, but the Sun Devils (18-5, 7-3) hung on despite not making a field goal for the final 4:39.
Justin Cobbs hit a 3-pointer with 1:11 left in the game to cap a 13-2 run and bring the Bears to within 62-59, then hit another 3 with 22.9 seconds left. Allen Crabbe had two critical turnovers in the final
Cal coach Mike Montgomery refused to lay the blame solely on Crabbe.
"Too many mistakes," Montgomery said. "Those were two of them, but we had failed block-offs. We had a 2-on-1 break that we didn't recognize that would have taken it to one point. We just had too many mistakes."
Crabbe scored 12 of his 16 points in the first half and added seven rebounds and six assists. Freshman Tyrone Wallace had a career-high 16 points and eight rebounds, and Cobbs added 13 points.
Evan Gordon scored 23 points to lead the Sun Devils. Ruslan Pateev and Jahii Carson added 12 points each.
"Gordon just killed us,"
The Bears struggled from the floor early in the first half, going scoreless for more than five minutes. The Sun Devils took advantage of Cal's scoring drought and benefitted from three consecutive turnovers by the Bears to build a 25-9 lead with 8:18 left in the half.
Arizona State's run included a 13-0 run capped by a turnaround jumper by Carrick Felix. Crabbe scored six consecutive points to key an 11-2 run by Cal to pull within seven points at 27-20 with 5:07 remaining the in half. The Sun Devils stretched the lead to 13 at 37-24 when Pateev drove the lane and dunked with 1:32 left.
Crabbe hit a 3-pointer and with 1:11 to cut the deficit to 10 points at 37-27 at the half.
"We were really standing," Montgomery said. "We started the game off like we were in la-la land."
Cal plays next at conference-leading Arizona, ranked No. 7 in the nation, on Sunday in the teams' only meeting of the regular season.