TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- The normally mild-mannered coach Ben Braun
got a bit louder and tougher at Cal's practices last week. It paid
off with a 30-point blowout of Arizona State on Thursday night.
The 30-point victory matched the Bears' biggest Pac-10 road
margin in their history.
"We needed that," Powe said. "We'd lost two in a row and we
needed to bounce that. But we had a week of tough practices. The
coaches really got after us and stuff. We just had to respond."
The Bears (10-5 overall, 4-2 Pac-10) had lost consecutive games
-- at home to Oregon State and at Stanford, and Braun decided it was
time to toughen up.
"I was harder on them. I had to be," he said. "I felt the
team needed it. It was unacceptable for us to play the kind of
defense we have played."
Ubaka said the practices were "more physical, more intense and
the coach didn't take any, uh, shenanigans. He's usually real
laid-back, more like a teacher. But he was really on us, totally
Kevin Kruger scored 18 for the Sun Devils (7-9, 1-6). Freshman
Sylvester Seay added a season-best 13 points. The 30-point loss
tied for the worst home defeat in coach Rob Evans' eight seasons at
"This was one of those games that I certainly didn't see coming
because we had played extremely well at Oregon State and we had
really good workouts," Evans said.
California dominated the game at the free throw line, sinking
31-of-38 compared with 13-of-19 for the Sun Devils. The Bears had
not made that many free throws in a game since Feb. 22, 1997.
Powe made 12-of-15 free throws and Ubaka was 8-of-12 from the
field, 4-of-6 from 3-point range. Kruger was 8-of-10 at the line,
but missed two that would have cut the lead with 7:35 to play.
Powe said Braun "got after" him about his free throw shooting,
so he got up and shot 50 before and 50 after practice last week.
"I had to correct that. I get too many free throws to be
shooting like that," Powe said.
Theo Robertson was the only other Cal player in double figures
with 10 points.
The Bears took the lead for good with an 8-2 spurt over the last
two minutes of the first half to go up 36-30 at the break, then
started the second half with a 16-2 run that put Cal ahead 50-32 on
Ubaka's 3-pointer with 17:05 left.
Arizona State, coming off its first Pac-10 victory of the
season, used a 12-3 run to cut the lead to 53-44 on Antwi
Atuahene's driving layup 7:35 to play.
With the Sun Devils trailing 62-53, Kruger was fouled shooting a
3-pointer. But he missed two of the three free throws and it was
62-54. Bruno Claudino's inside basket with 6:21 left cut the lead
DeVon Hardin's three-point play started the final outburst that
turned the game into a blowout.
"I've got to take a look at the tape but from my personal
observation, our defense was just nonexistent," Evans said. "They
drove the paint on us all night, they got the ball anywhere they
wanted to. We had no pressure on the ball."
The Sun Devils scored the first nine points of the game and were
up 16-5 on Seay's 3-pointer with 13:40 left in the first half. The
Bears caught them 19-18 on Ubaka's 3-pointer with 8:56 left in the
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