The coolest part of Arizona State’s senior day Saturday wasn’t the 74-70 win over Cal or the ceremony honoring Shaq McKissic, Bo Barnes and Jonathan Gilling beforehand.
It was this simple request:
— Sun Devil MBB (@SunDevilHoops) March 7, 2015
Head coach Herb Sendek has spoken highly all year of the character and leadership his players have shown in a difficult adjusting period, and they showed that once more with their decisions to not start the game.
The win was pretty neat in Arizona State fans’ books, too.
Mckissic poured in 21 points and Savon Goodman and Gerry Blakes followed with 18 and 16 respectively in the Sun Devils’ win.
Cal opened on a hot streak, hitting 9-of-10 shots and leading by 10 points early on.
A 2-of-20 dry spell from the Golden Bears just minutes later, however, allowed ASU to chip back from the deficit and actually lead by three points at the half, 35-32.
The Sun Devils held off multiple Cal rallies, and with about a minute left a monster block by Eric Jacobsen looked like it put the game out of reach.
But on the following Cal possession, Blakes and Jacobsen battled for a rebound with each other and turned it over to Cal. The Bears’ Tyrone Wallace knocked down a three to pull his team within one point.
McKissic then put in two free throws and Barnes followed with four more to seal it.
What did the final game of Arizona State’s regular season look like, by the numbers?
The Sun Devils finish with a 17-14 record and end at .500 in the Pac-12 at 9-9.
ASU has a 7-9 record on the season in games decided by five points or less.
Jacobsen had five blocks against Cal, his career high.
For the first time in the conference this season, an administrative technical foul was handed out. It went to Cal’s Roger Moute a Bidas for wearing a No. 12 jersey instead of his actual No. 11.
The Sun Devils outscored Cal 42-34 in the paint.
This was partially due to Cal’s big, David Kravish, getting into foul trouble early and having to sit.
In fact, Cal’s dry streak started after Kravish came out of the game, which allowed the Sun Devils to mount their comeback.
Freshman guard Tra Holder had more assists than total points. He dished out the ball six times but went 1-of-7 from the field and 2-of-5 from the line for four points.
By virtue of Arizona’s win over Stanford on Saturday, the Sun Devils clinched the No. 5 seed in the Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas next week.