TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- The Golden Bears dropped a 78-60 decision to the Arizona State Sun Devils at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, Arizona. The Bears move to 18-11 overall and 9-7 in the Pac-12 while Arizona State improves to 21-8 overall and 10-6 in conference play.
Senior Justin Cobbs led the Bears with 15 points, marking his 26th double-digit scoring game of the season. With one assist, Cobbs moved ahead of Jason Kidd (494 from 1992-94) and into sole possession of fourth place on Cal’s all-time assist chart, with 495 assists in 96 career games at Cal.
The numbers weren't spectacular for Jahii Carson, the prolific sophomore playmaker -- nine points and four assists. But he had just one turnover and engineered one of the best games of the season for the Sun Devils (21-8, 10-6), who moved alone into third place in the Pac-12 standings, a half-game ahead of Stanford, which plays at No. 3 Arizona on Sunday.
Jermaine Marshall scored 22 points, Jonathan Gilling matched his season-high with 15 and Arizona State pulled away in the second half in the Sun Devils' final home game of the season.
Carson is expected by everyone, including Sendek, to declare for the NBA draft after this season.
Asked if it was his last home game in college, Carson said, "Yeah, for the most part."
Carson didn't want to talk about it being his final home game, deflecting attention to the team's seniors.
"I just want to go out and win basketball games," Carson said, "give these guys all the credit. It's their last games here. Their family was here. It was very emotional for them, so I just tried to give all the attention to them."
Freshman Jordan Mathews scored 14 points for Cal, increasing his average to 12.8 points per game in 11 road contests this season. Junior David Kravish recorded 12 points, marking his 17th double-digit game this year.
The Bears were fell at No. 3 Arizona Wednesday night 87-59 and have lost three of four overall.
Cal now trails the Sun Devils, 38-37, in the all-time series between the two teams. It marks the first time the Bears have dropped three-straight games to Arizona State in the series since a stretch from the 1982-83 season to the 1985-86 campaign where they lost seven consecutive games to the Sun Devils.
Arizona State trailed through much of the first half but never by more than six points.
After Cobs' 3-pointer put the Bears ahead 22-18, the Sun Devils outscored Cal 11-2 the final 5:39 of the half.
Carson hit a 16-footer with 2:29 to go, then Gilling capped the run with a 3-pointer from the corner, on a pass from Shaquielle McKissic, to put Arizona State up 29-24 at the break.
Cobb made two free throws to start the second half and cut the lead to 29-26, but Cal got no closer. Jordan Bachynski and Gilling scored four apiece and Carson made a lightning driving layup in a 10-0 spurt that gave Arizona State a 44-30 lead with 14:47 to play.
The lead reached 59-43 after McKissic's thunderous baseline dunk for a three-point play, followed by Gilling's fastbreak layup off a turnover with 10:02 to play. Arizona State led by as many as 20.
"Right toward the end of the first half we had about three breakdowns where a guy was standing and his guy moved and he didn't move, and they hit three 3s," Cal coach Mike Montgomery said. "That gave them a little momentum and then we just carried it over into the second half. We lost vision time and time again of open shooters to their credit they knock down shots. ... There was a point in time they were 13 for 15 from the floor. They were shooting 83 percent."
Before the game, the Sun Devils honored the six seniors on the squad -- Bachynski, Marshall, McKissic, Richie Evans, Jarett Upchurch and Dave Whitmore.
Cal has lost three of four by scores of 86-66 to UCLA, 87-59 to Arizona and 78-60 to Arizona State.