NCAA

Mullins, Rabb lead Cal past Arizona State

mullins-cal-arizona-state.jpg
USATSI

Mullins, Rabb lead Cal past Arizona State

TEMPE, Ariz. — Grant Mullins knocked down a season high six 3-pointers for 18 points and Ivan Rabb recorded his 24th career double-double, helping California coast to a 68-43 win over Arizona State Wednesday night.

Mullins, a graduate transfer from Columbia, went 6 of 9 behind the arc and Rabb had 14 points and 11 rebounds for Cal, winners of five straight games.

Cal (18-6 overall, 9-2 Pac-12) held the conference's second-best scoring offense 39 points under its per-game average.

ASU suffered through its worst shooting night of the season, making just 15 of 59 shots for 25.4 percent. The Sun Devils (11-14, 4-8) were 3 of 25 from 3-point range and have lost three of their last four games.

Arizona State went almost 11 minutes without a made field goal between the first and second halves, and the drought proved costly. Cal went ahead by 20 points early in the first half, taking a 46-26 lead with 12:33 to play on a 3-pointer from Mullins.

The Bears took a 24-point lead, 55-31, after another Mullins 3 at the 9:46 mark. They were never threatened in the second half and led by as many as 27.

Cal took control of the game when Arizona State's shooting went cold in the first half.

The Sun Devils turned an 11-4 deficit into a 15-14 lead in the first half, but failed to make another basket from the 7:38 mark to halftime.

The last two points the Sun Devils scored in the first half came on a pair of Obinna Oleka free throws with 6:27 left. Arizona State missed 11 straight shots but trailed by only 11, 28-17, at the break.

Oleka had 12 points and 14 rebounds for Arizona State.

The 17 first-half points was a season low for the Sun Devils.

Cal went on an 11-0 run while ASU struggled on offense, with Rabb's eight points leading the way along with a 23-13 rebounding edge.

BIG PICTURE

California: The Bears received votes in the AP top 25 poll this week, and will almost certainly break into the top 25 with a sweep in the desert this week. Cal still has No. 9 Arizona and No. 5 Oregon on the schedule.

Arizona State: The Sun Devils have a chance to get out of the bottom four of the Pac-12 and get a first-round bye in the conference tournament thanks to four of their final six regular-season games at home. ASU is 7-5 at home this season.

CURTAIN CAMEO

Actor Charlie Day ("It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," ''Horrible Bosses") donned a neon green spandex outfit for appearances inside the Sun Devil student section's Curtain of Distraction early in the second half. The students chanted his name, and the Bears went 4 for 6 at the line with Day in action.

UP NEXT

California: At No. 9 Arizona on Saturday.

Arizona State: Host Stanford on Saturday.

Louisville has 'effectively fired' head coach Rick Pitino

pitino-sad-ap.jpg
AP

Louisville has 'effectively fired' head coach Rick Pitino

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Louisville has placed coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich on administrative leave amid a federal bribery investigation.

Jurich is on paid leave, while Pitino is on unpaid leave. The coach’s attorney, Steve Spence, told the Courier-Journal Wednesday that Louisville has “effectively fired” Pitino.

Pitino’s exit comes after the school acknowledged on Tuesday that the men’s program is part of a federal investigation into alleged bribery of recruits. The 65-year-old coach was not named in the indictment that resulted in the arrest of 10 people including four assistant coaches at other schools and an Adidas executive.

It is the latest black eye for the Cardinals program. Pitino and Louisville are in the middle of appealing NCAA sanctions following an embarrassing sex scandal.

Jurich has supported Pitino through his transgressions during the athletic director’s nearly 20-year tenure at the university.

Cal fights USC into fourth quarter, can't complete the upset

cal-usc-ap.jpg
AP

Cal fights USC into fourth quarter, can't complete the upset

BOX SCORE

BERKELEY -- Stephen Carr ran for a fourth-quarter touchdown two plays after Southern California's defense forced one of its six turnovers and the fifth-ranked Trojans won their 13th straight game, 30-20 over California on Saturday.

USC (4-0, 2-0 Pac-12) has dominated the series with its in-state rival by winning 14 straight against the Golden Bears (3-1, 0-1), but this was one of the tightest matchups in years as the game was tied early in the fourth quarter.

Sam Darnold threw for 223 yards and two touchdowns for the Trojans but also had an interception and was under pressure for much of the day.

It was the defense that stepped up for USC, intercepting a pass from Ross Bowers in the first quarter to set up a field goal and then delivering the big play early in the fourth quarter after Chase McGrath gave the Trojans a 16-13 lead with his third field goal of the game.

Josh Fatu knocked the ball out of Bowers' hand and Uchenna Nwosu recovered the fumble at the 3. Carr ran it in two plays later from the 2 to make it 23-13.

Ykili Ross then intercepted Bowers' pass on the next possession, setting up Darnold's 4-yard TD pass to Deontay Burnett that put away the game.

Bowers finished 22 for 50 for 303 yards with one touchdown, four interceptions and two lost fumbles.

THE TAKEAWAY

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: The Trojans struggled for much of the game without starting RB Ronald Jones (ankle) and WR Steven Mitchell (groin) but managed to pull away late in their first road game of the season.

CALIFORNIA: The Bears used an improved defense to start 3-0 under first-year coach Justin Wilcox but this was supposed to be the test of how far they had come. Cal showed plenty by sticking with a national title contender for three quarters. A sequence on the opening drive of the second will haunt the Bears. Patrick Laird dropped a potential TD in the end zone and Matt Anderson then missed a 29-yard field goal that kept the game tied at 13.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

A win against an unranked team should do little to alter USC's poll position.

UP NEXT

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Visits No. 18 Washington State on Friday.

CALIFORNIA: Visits No. 24 Oregon on Saturday.