Pac-12 basketball: No. 25 Arizona State holds off Cal in conference opener; Utah beats Washington

California forward Kuany Kuany reaches for the ball under Arizona State guard Holland Woods.
California forward Kuany Kuany, left, reaches for the ball under Arizona State guard Holland Woods during the first half in Berkeley on Thursday.
(Jeff Chiu / Associated Press)
Share via

Remy Martin produced another impressive performance on California’s home floor, finishing with 22 points, five assists and four rebounds as No. 25 Arizona State beat the Golden Bears 70-62 on Thursday night in the Pac-12 opener for both schools.

Prized freshman Josh Christopher added 14 points for the Sun Devils (3-1), and Holland Woods knocked down a key 3-pointer with 2:24 remaining.

Freshman forward Marcus Bagley had to be helped off with a lower left leg injury after he went down near midcourt with 1:42 to play. He is scheduled for an MRI and X-rays on Friday.


Cal star Matt Bradley had 20 points and eight rebounds but was just 1 for 9 on 3-pointers. He was coming off 26-point performance Monday in the team’s home opener, a 60-49 victory against Nicholls State.

The Sun Devils again were without guard Alonzo Verge Jr., last season’s Pac-12 Sixth Man of the Year, as he quarantines in Tempe, Arizona, for COVID-19 contact tracing. ASU coach Bobby Hurley was clear Verge’s absence was not injury-related or disciplinary.

In addition, Sun Devils associate head coach Rashon Burno, operations director Eric Brown and other support staff stayed back at a nearby hotel as a precaution for contact tracing after a staff member not currently with the team tested positive for the coronavirus.

Bradley converted a three-point play with 14:46 remaining to pull the Bears to 46-43. The Sun Devils answered, as they did each time Cal (2-2) threatened late. The Bears got within 54-53 on Grant Anticevich’s putback with 7:52 left before a 7-0 burst by ASU.

Arizona State returned from a split of two games at the Empire Classic in Connecticut, losing 83-74 to No. 3 Villanova for the tournament title.

Both teams had committed five turnovers by the midway point of the opening half.

Utah 76, Washington 62

Alfonso Plummer scored 21 points, Timmy Allen added 14, and Utah used an 18-0 run midway through the second half to pull away for a 76-62 win over Washington on Thursday in the Pac-12 Conference opener for both schools.


Utah finally got on the court after having several early-season games canceled due to COVID-19 issues in the program. Despite no games and a lack of practice time, the Utes looked just fine rolling in their season opener.

Mikael Jantunen added 10 points as the Utes shot nearly 52% in the second half. Utah had 21 assists on 28 made field goals and scored 23 points off Washington turnovers.

Quade Green tied his career high with 21 points, but the Huskies continued to struggle at the offensive end. Washington has shot under 40% in all three of its games. Nate Roberts added 12 points and 13 rebounds. The Huskies made just 2 of 14 3-pointers in the second half.

It’s the first 0-3 start for Washington since the 2002-03 season after losses to No. 2 Baylor and UC Riverside to open the season.

Washington was within 51-46 after Green scored on a layup with 13:26 remaining, but the Huskies went cold. Plummer knocked down a pair of 3s during a run and Jantunen’s layup pushed the lead to 69-46 before Green’s 3-pointer finally stopped the drought for Washington.

Utah led by as many as 23 in the closing minutes.

The Utes will host Idaho State next Tuesday. The Huskies will play crosstown rival Seattle next Wednesday.