Arizona State basketball overcomes 16-point deficit to beat California

Dec 31, 2023, 8:38 PM

Arizona State teammates Shawn Phillips Jr. (9), Braelon Green (2) and Frankie Collins (1) celebrate...

Arizona State teammates Shawn Phillips Jr. (9), Braelon Green (2) and Frankie Collins (1) celebrate after their comeback win over California in an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

(AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Frankie Collins scored 17 of his career-high 25 points in the second half to help Arizona State rally from a 16-point second-half deficit to beat California 71-69 Sunday night.

Cal (4-9, 0-2) has lost 18 in a row to conference opponents, including a 69-52 loss to Washington State in the first round 2023 Pac-12 Tournament.

Collins, a 6-foot-1 junior, who went into the gave No. 4 nationally in steals per game (2.92), made 10 of 17 from the field, 3 of 5 from 3-point range and finished with six steals. Arizona State (7-5, 1-0 Pac-12)

Grant Newell hit a jumper that gave the Golden Bears a 14-point lead with 8:59 left in the game but they made just 1 of 5 from the field and committed five turnovers over the next five-plus minutes. Kamari Lands scored all his 11 points, including three 3-pointers, in a 22-6 spurt that gave the Sun Devils a 64-62 lead with — its first since 2-0 — with 3:12 to go. Fardaw Aimaq answered with a three-point play before Collins hit a jumper and Jaylon Tyson made two free throws to put Cal in front 67-66 with 1:25 remaining. Jose Perez had a jumper in the lane blocked by Jalen Celestine but Alonzo Gaffney’s put-back dunk with 43 seconds left gave Arizona State the lead for good.

After a turnover by Tyson on the other end, Collins made a layup with seven seconds to go that gave the Sun Devils their biggest lead of the game at 70-67. They immediately fouled and Jalen Cone hit two free throws to cut the deficit to a point before Collins — a 59% free-throw shooter this season — made 1 of 2 from the foul line to cap the scoring with 4.5 to play.

Tyson, who missed a contested potential winning 35-footer at the buzzer, had 20 points, nine rebounds, five assists and six steals for the Golden Bears and Aimaq added 17 points and 14 rebounds. Kennedy finished with 11 points and Nelson 10.

Cal heads to Los Angeles to play at Southern California on Thursday and at UCLA on Saturday. Arizona State plays host to Utah on Thursday.

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