Photo by Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Cal Falls Short, Ends Season Against Colorado

March 13, 2019
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The Bears battled and had their chances late in the first round of the Pac 12 conference tournament but ultimately fell short against Colorado, losing 56-51. Cal forced 23 turnovers — a season-high for Colorado — but was outrebounded 40 to 19. Matt Bradley led the Bears in scoring and steals with 17 points and four takeaways, which is a new career high for the freshman. Colorado was led by McKinley Wright IV, who scored 18 points on 4-6 shooting from the three-point line and grabbed seven rebounds.

“Hard-fought game from both teams,” Cal Coach Wyking Jones said after the game. “I was happy with my team’s effort. I felt like we played with a lot of energy.”

Cal surged to a 6-0 lead and led 9-3 after a Darius McNeill three with 15:49 left in the first half. After losing the lead, Cal went up again 12-10 with a little over 12 minutes to go in the first half but went scoreless for the next five minutes. The Buffs stretched the lead to nine multiple times during the first half but the Bears battled back and got within six at halftime after a Matt Bradley three.

“I felt like in the first half we were a little stagnant offensively,” Jones said. “We had a couple of scoring droughts. But defensively I thought we did a really good job, and I was definitely happy with my team’s effort today.”

Early on in the second half, the Bears got within one point of the Buffs but were never able to get over the hump and take the lead. Colorado extended the lead to 10 points with 10:24 remaining in the game. With about five minutes to go Bradley nailed a three followed by a couple of free-throws to close the gap to five. With 3:51 remaining, Paris Austin hit a layup, bringing the score to 50-47 with the Buffs leading. Cal brought it within three one more time after another Bradley three made it 54-51 with about 80 seconds left in the game.

With less than a minute to go, Colorado turned it over, but on the ensuing possession, Austin dribble the ball off his knee while driving through the lane. Another Colorado turnover gave the Bears one final chance at tying the game with a three but Bradley’s shot missed with five seconds to go, ending the comeback, the three-game win streak, and the Bears’ 2018-2019 season. “I thought it was going to go in, and I was pretty frustrated that it didn’t,” Bradley said after the game while thanking his coach and teammates for the confidence and trust in giving him the final shot.

“We were very active, very active defensively,” Jones said during the post-game presser. “What really hurt us is giving up ten offensive rebounds, out-rebounded us. It’s hard to win a basketball game when you get out-rebounded by that margin.”

We’ll have more analysis of the game and season in the coming days. And potentially the coverage of a new coaching search.

Discussion from...

Cal Falls Short, Ends Season Against Colorado

calbear70
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Thank god this season is over. What an embarrassment. I don't see things getting better under Wyking.
calgo430
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not happy with the game against colorado. its all about scoring and for the umptieth time we struggled.
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