Diogu gets no help in listless loss to Cal - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Diogu gets no help in listless loss to Cal

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Posted: Sunday, January 11, 2004 3:22 am | Updated: 4:30 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

The Arizona State basketball fans who are still bothering to attend the games at Wells Fargo Arena can have some sympathy for Ike Diogu.

The sophomore center is doing absolutely everything he can to lift the fortunes of ASU basketball.

But he's getting little help, and so the Sun Devils find themselves winless in the conference after the first two weeks after struggling California defeated them, 74-62, Saturday night.

Diogu played all 40 minutes and scored 31 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in another outstanding effort.

But only one other player, Steve Moore, was in double figures at 10 points.

The Golden Bears (6-7, 2-2 Pac-10) trailed only once, 3-2, in a stunning wire-to-wire win in which they showed far more desire to win than the home team.

"It seemed like we were like zombies out there," said Diogu, who had 21 points in the second half. "As a whole, we didn't play with much effort. There's no excuses for the way we played."

ASU (6-6, 0-3) was hoping a strong second-half effort against fourth-ranked Stanford was a sign of positive things. But, alas, there are no guarantees there would be a carryover, especially if that effort didn't produce a victory.

And so ASU shot a miserable 26.9 percent in the first half in showing that there is no advantage for them in playing at home.

"They were absolutely effortless," a peeved ASU coach Rob Evans said. "It's hard to help guys when they don't give effort."

As he did against Stanford, Evans went through his bench early and often, only this time it wasn't because some players were getting tired.

"I tried every combination," he said, trying find something that would work. "We have to find guys who will battle when things aren't going well. We have people who are frontrunners."

The personnel story of the game was redshirt freshman walk-on Kevin Kruger playing 29 minutes ahead of junior starting point guard Jason Braxton. Braxton was parked for good just 1 1/2 minutes into the second half.

"I didn't like the effort I got from anybody else playing the position," was Evans’ response when asked about Kruger's minutes.

Braxton had been averaging 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, Cal grabbed a 16-point lead at intermission behind the 11 points of freshman forward Marquise Kately.

The Devils went from the 10:10 mark of the first half to 14:46 of the second half getting one field goal.

The Devils tried to make a comeback from a deficit that was as large as 20 points. ASU cut the deficit to 60-51 with 5:17 remaining on an 8-footer by Diogu.

But then heralded Cal freshman Leon "The Show" Powe took matters into his hands to stymie Diogu's effort, scoring on two straight power moves and dropping in a pair of free throws to start a 7-0 run.

"We had a lot of spirit," said Cal coach Ben Braun. "I thought we probably had the best 20-minute half that we have played all year in terms of effort."

ASU redshirt freshman Serge Angounou played 28 minutes but was 1-for-8 from the floor. Seven of his eight shots were from behind the arc. Angounou contributed six rebounds.

BONUS SHOTS: The game was Braun's 800th as a college coach.

ASU held a moment of silence for former Ned Wulk player Paul Denham, who died late this week. Denham attended Wulk's funeral in November.

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