NCAA

Mullins, Rabb lead Cal past Arizona State

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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.

Pac-12 basketball teams near Barcelona terrorist attack safe

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AP

Pac-12 basketball teams near Barcelona terrorist attack safe

Men's basketball teams from Oregon State, Clemson and Arizona were staying at a hotel in Barcelona, Spain, near where a van drove into pedestrians on Thursday, but team officials said everyone was safe.

Spanish police have confirmed they are investigating the bloodshed in Barcelona's historic Las Ramblas district as a terror attack. The area is a popular summer tourist spot.

Tulane also was playing in Barcelona, but it was unclear if they were staying in the same hotel as the other teams.

Oregon State assistant coach Gregg Gottlieb posted to Facebook: "We are all luckily ok. Our hotel/restaurant is located right on Las Ramblas. This tragedy happened right in front of us as our team just sat down for pregame meal. Thoughts and prayers for all those that are were hurt."

The Beavers' game Thursday night was canceled. It was supposed to be the first of a five-game tour.

Clemson was scheduled to play Thursday night against a Spanish All-Star team.

"We've been in contact with our men's basketball program currently in Barcelona and the entire travel party is safe and secure. Their exhibition game for tonight has been cancelled and the team will return to Clemson as previously scheduled tomorrow morning. Our thoughts are with the people of Barcelona," the South Carolina school said in a statement.

Clemson coach Brad Brownell confirmed in a text to The Associated Press that the three teams were staying in the same hotel.

"We are fine. Thankful to be safe and together," Brownell wrote.

Tulane athletic director Troy Tannen confirmed via social media that the Green Wave players and staff were safe.

Replying to a Twitter inquiry from a Portland television about whether the team was OK, Oregon State head coach Wayne Tinkle responded: "Yes we are, happened directly in front of our hotel while we were having a team meal in the restaurant, so senseless and sad! All accounted4."

Oregon State said it has not yet determined the remaining schedule for the team, which was supposed to be on the exhibition tour until Aug. 25.

A spokesman for Arizona said the Wildcats have canceled their third and final exhibition of their tour and "are currently working on travel plans to return home."

The future of Cal athletics, or lack thereof

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USATSI

The future of Cal athletics, or lack thereof

Your education dollars are always at work, so it is with pride and bewilderment that we report that the University of California’s incoming class (2021, for those few who can get out in four years) marched to Memorial Stadium and formed the world’s largest human letter.
 
It was . . . wait for it . . . a “C.” A 7,196-person-strong “C.”
 
But the school, as it occasionally does, missed a golden opportunity to seize a golden opportunity. All they needed to do was have a quick whip-round, get $55,586.44 from each and every one of the captives . . . er, students, and they could have wiped out their entire athletics deficit in one night.
 
You see, while forming gigantic letters is always fun (or as the kids used to say when double negatives didn’t mean voting, never not fun), Cal is staring at quite possibly the bleakest future a major athletic university ever has. The athletic department, whose chief officer, Mike Williams, has just announced his intention to quit, is over $400 million in debt between construction costs, ambition, shrinking allegiance and the absence of a Phil Knight-level sugar daddy to buy the pain away.
 
And before you blame Williams, he inherited this indigestible planetoid from his predecessor, Sandy Barbour, who grew it from her predecessor, Steve Gladstone, and hastened it from . . . well, you get the drift. 
 
Cal’s been blowing through money it hasn’t been taking in for years upon years, didn’t realize the deficit-cutting benefits of the Pac-12 Network (because they largely don’t exist), and the day of reckoning looms closer and closer, especially now that new chancellor Carol Christ (no apparent relation) described the deficit as “corrosive” and has insisted that the athletic department have a balanced budget by 2020.
 
In short, the school may only be able to afford a lower-case “C” before too long. Maybe in comic sans.