Pac-12 basketball: No. 3 Villanova beats No. 18 ASU to win Empire Classic; Cal tops Northwest

Arizona State's Jalen Graham blocks a shot attempt by Villanova's Jeremiah Robinson-Earl.
Arizona State’s Jalen Graham blocks a shot attempt by Villanova’s Jeremiah Robinson-Earl during the first half on Thursday in Uncasville, Conn.
(Jessica Hill / Associated Press)

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl scored a career-high 28 points to lead No. 3 Villanova over No. 18 Arizona State 83-74 on Thursday night in the championship game of the Empire Classic.

Justin Moore added 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Wildcats (2-0), and Caleb Daniels chipped in with 14 points — 10 in the second half.

The Wildcats dictated the pace of the game and dominated on the glass, outrebounding Arizona State 43-27. Robinson-Earl finished with eight boards.


Freshman guard Josh Christopher had 28 points and Alonzo Verge Jr. scored 22 for the Sun Devils (1-1).

Villanova held ASU star Remy Martin to just five first-half points on 2-of-8 shooting.

The Wildcats led by nine at halftime and took their first double-digit lead at 49-38 on a 3-pointer by Robinson-Earl that capped an 8-0 run early in the second half.

They stretched that to 66-49 on a 3 by Daniels before ASU made a little run.

The Sun Devils cut the deficit to 70-60 on a jumper by Verge, but could not come all the way back.

The game, played as part of the 11-day “Bubbleville” event in Connecticut, was close early. Villanova led just 31-29 after a 3-pointer by Martin.

But the Wildcats closed the first half on a 10-3 surge over the final 5 1/2 minutes to lead 41-32 at the break.

California 86, Northwest 61

Ryan Betley had 14 points and nine rebounds to lead five California players scoring in double figures and the Golden Bears beat Northwest University 86-61 on Thursday as part of a multi-team event at Gill Coliseum.

Andre Kelly and Matt Bradley scored 11 points apiece, and Joel Brown and Makale Foreman each scored 10 for Cal (1-1), which rebounded from a season-opening loss to Oregon State on Wednesday. Foreman, a graduate transfer from Stony Brook after beginning his career at Chattanooga, had six assists and two steals.

The game served as an exhibition for NAIA-member Northwest.

Cesar Sandoval hit a 3-pointer to give the Eagles a 3-2 lead but Foreman answered with a 3 just 15 seconds later to spark 27-4 run and Cal led the rest of the way. Kelly scored seven points and Betley hit two 3s during the stretch.

Dejwan Walker scored 12 points to lead Northwest. Cacao Chatman and Pa’Treon Lee each added 10 points.

Cal shot 51% from the field but made just 6 of 20 from behind the arc and 18 of 31 from the free-throw line. The Eagles made 25 of 66 (38%) from the field and shot 29% (4 of 14) from the foul line.