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Resilient Bears Take Down UNLV in OT

November 12, 2019
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Elijah Mitrou-Long pulled down a rebound and Amauri Hardy drove to the bucket, scoring at the rim to put UNLV up 65-56 over the Bears with 5:58 to go. The air deflated from Haas Pavilion and it felt like the Cal’s men’s hoops team was falling into last season’s woes — a stagnant offense and a defense prone to lapses.

But Cal clamped down, and only allowed UNLV’s Runnin Rebels two more points the rest of the game, while rattling off 11 of their own to tie the game at 67 and push it into overtime. The Bears had a chance to win it in regulation as Paris Austin ran the length of the court in 3.6 seconds but his floater in the lane went off the back of the rim. Cal jumped out to a 5-0 run in the extra period and then held on, winning the game 79-75 on Tuesday night.

“That was a hard-fought game. That was a great college basketball game,” Head Coach Mark Fox said after the game. “We beat a very-well coached UNLV team. A team that was very determined throughout the night to win. I was proud of our kids’ competitive endurance. To keep playing. To play through some mistakes and make plays.”

Sophomore guard Matt Bradley led the Bears in scoring for the second game in a row, getting 23 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the field. While his three-point shooting cooled compared to last week’s game against Pepperdine (3-of-7 tonight), Bradley found other ways to score and went 6-of-8 from the line. Three other Bears ended up in double-digits. Kareem South added 14 points on 5-for-13 shooting. Freshman Joel Brown went 3-for-3 from the three-point line and added 12 points. Brown made a huge three with 4:03 to go to bring the Bears within three points at 65-62. Paris Austin also added 10 points on 5-of-8 shooting.

For the first time this season, Juhwan Harris-Dyson played and made his impact known early on a very nice drive and dunk with 2:41 to go in the first half, putting the Bears up 34-33. Harris-Dyson ended up with two blocks and two steals in 21 minutes and was the defensive presence we expected to see this season.

At the end of the first half, the Bears trailed 40-38, despite shooting 63% from the field including 44.4% from the three-point line. UNLV also torched the net, shooting 59.3% overall from the field and 57.1% from three. UNLV also went 4-for-8 from the free-throw line while the Bears didn’t attempt a single free-throw.

“I told the kids at halftime the first team to play defense wins,” Fox said after the game. 

It was the Bears that ratcheted up the defense, particularly late in the game when Fox switched to a zone. After forcing just one turnover in the first half and coughing up five, the Bears forced 11 turnovers in the second half (and one in overtime) compared to just five of its own, which Fox said was the key to the second-half. 

“I think down the stretch we were very locked in. We forced deflections,” graduate transfer guard Kareem South said after the game. 

Coming into the game, junior guard Amauri Hardy had averaged 21 points, but the Bears held him to 15 points — and just four in the second half and overtime — on six-of-19 shooting. 

The Bears have a fairly quick-turnaround and will play Cal Baptist this Friday also at Haas Pavilion. It’s officially the first game of the 2K Empire Classic. Cal Baptist is 2-1 on the season and is coming off a 67-54 loss on the road to Texas.

Other notes from the post-game presser:

Fox said Paris Austin missed two or three practices this week with an injury. “He’s not 100%.”

“When it was the moment of truth, we locked in and got stops.” - South on Cal’s defense down the stretch

“It was a great win, especially on my birthday. I’m happy that we won together.” - Brown on winning on his birthday

“It was great just knowing you have another person out there.” - Brown on Juhwan Harris-Dyson’s presence

“’Wan, just like Joel said, he’s a spark-plug.” - South on Harris-Dyson

“I think this is what’s going to shape our identity, just our toughness.” - South on coming back from a nine-point deficit late in the game.

 

Discussion from...

Resilient Bears Take Down UNLV in OT

2,115 Views | 17 Replies | Last: 25 days ago by Big C
concordtom
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I went and it was a great game by both teams.
I predict it will be the best game of the year!

Go Bears!
Bearprof
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It was good. I hope it wasn't the only great game of the year, though. Pretty early to come in with that prediction.
bearsandgiants
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we may not be that tall, but this team is STRONG. never seen such athletic builds on a bear squad overall. very promising.
BC Calfan
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Last night was encouraging. Not because we played well---we didn't. Poor execution, foul trouble and injury forced us to alter our gameplan but much credit to the team for gutting out a win.

Couple Observations:

-Fox was on fire. He was pretty animated out there and with good reason. Bad inbounding, poor execution, players losing focus, and of course the refs drove him crazy. This is a good thing. All of his frustrations were warranted.

-Anticevich is muy importante. He's our glue guy. When he sat in the first half with 2 fouls our offense really suffered. His activity on our offensive sets is key; moves the ball quickly, sets screens, makes the the right play. We need him out there.

-Oh Lars. Lots of fans in our section yelling at Lars last night. 7 feet, 240 lbs, 20 min of play.and 1 rebound. While he's not a liability, he's not a plus either. You can see that he's thinking too much out there and not reacting. Coaches need to light a fire under him.

-We need Paris. I was worried when Austin wasn't playing last night. Didn't know he was injured and thought he might be in the doghouse. However, he showed a good attitude on the bench which was nice to see. He's a sparkplug and we could have used a healthy version of him at times last night. Brown did fine but showed some freshman tendencies. We need Austin's playmaking.

-Joel was lucky. Man, his shot is FLAT. 3-3 from 3 but one was banked and another bounced all over the goal before going in. He should only shoot from the top of the arch straight on.
RJABear
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Resilient indeed.

Gutsy game. With five minutes left, I did not expect he Bears to make the comeback. Glad we watched until the end.
Civil Bear
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Thanks for the recap. I was expecting the hero ball to come out when Cal got down by 9 with 5 minutes to go, but kudos to the Bears for sticking to the game plan.

Perhaps not so coincidentally, Paris was not in the game for the comeback stretch and the OT. I figured it must have had to with defense and needing stops. I don't think injury was part of the equation since he looked fine speeding the ball down court on the last play of regulation.
RedlessWardrobe
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BC Calfan said:

Last night was encouraging. Not because we played well---we didn't. Poor execution, foul trouble and injury forced us to alter our gameplan but much credit to the team for gutting out a win.

Couple Observations:

-Fox was on fire. He was pretty animated out there and with good reason. Bad inbounding, poor execution, players losing focus, and of course the refs drove him crazy. This is a good thing. All of his frustrations were warranted.

-Anticevich is muy importante. He's our glue guy. When he sat in the first half with 2 fouls our offense really suffered. His activity on our offensive sets is key; moves the ball quickly, sets screens, makes the the right play. We need him out there.

-Oh Lars. Lots of fans in our section yelling at Lars last night. 7 feet, 240 lbs, 20 min of play.and 1 rebound. While he's not a liability, he's not a plus either. You can see that he's thinking too much out there and not reacting. Coaches need to light a fire under him.

-We need Paris. I was worried when Austin wasn't playing last night. Didn't know he was injured and thought he might be in the doghouse. However, he showed a good attitude on the bench which was nice to see. He's a sparkplug and we could have used a healthy version of him at times last night. Brown did fine but showed some freshman tendencies. We need Austin's playmaking.

-Joel was lucky. Man, his shot is FLAT. 3-3 from 3 but one was banked and another bounced all over the goal before going in. He should only shoot from the top of the arch straight on.
Liked your individual observations but to flatly say Cal didn't play well is wrong. Both teams played well. They both appeared very talented. It took a while for the defenses to adjust but overall it was a well played game.
Main key for Cal was switching to zone with about 5 minutes left in regulation. Not only did it neutralize the Rebels driving ability but I liked the fact that the zone extended itself just far enough to minimize easy 3 point attempts.

Agree with you about Lars, right now he is just a body but too slow for the game. OTOH I was encouraged by Joel's game. He is super quick and will refine his game and only get better as the season progresses.
south bender
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RedlessWardrobe said:

BC Calfan said:

Last night was encouraging. Not because we played well---we didn't. Poor execution, foul trouble and injury forced us to alter our gameplan but much credit to the team for gutting out a win.

Couple Observations:

-Fox was on fire. He was pretty animated out there and with good reason. Bad inbounding, poor execution, players losing focus, and of course the refs drove him crazy. This is a good thing. All of his frustrations were warranted.

-Anticevich is muy importante. He's our glue guy. When he sat in the first half with 2 fouls our offense really suffered. His activity on our offensive sets is key; moves the ball quickly, sets screens, makes the the right play. We need him out there.

-Oh Lars. Lots of fans in our section yelling at Lars last night. 7 feet, 240 lbs, 20 min of play.and 1 rebound. While he's not a liability, he's not a plus either. You can see that he's thinking too much out there and not reacting. Coaches need to light a fire under him.

-We need Paris. I was worried when Austin wasn't playing last night. Didn't know he was injured and thought he might be in the doghouse. However, he showed a good attitude on the bench which was nice to see. He's a sparkplug and we could have used a healthy version of him at times last night. Brown did fine but showed some freshman tendencies. We need Austin's playmaking.

-Joel was lucky. Man, his shot is FLAT. 3-3 from 3 but one was banked and another bounced all over the goal before going in. He should only shoot from the top of the arch straight on.
Liked your individual observations but to flatly say Cal didn't play well is wrong. Both teams played well. They both appeared very talented. It took a while for the defenses to adjust but overall it was a well played game.
Main key for Cal was switching to zone with about 5 minutes left in regulation. Not only did it neutralize the Rebels driving ability but I liked the fact that the zone extended itself just far enough to minimize easy 3 point attempts.

Agree with you about Lars, right now he is just a body but too slow for the game. OTOH I was encouraged by Joel's game. He is super quick and will refine his game and only get better as the season progresses.
Brown definitely was key to the win. Good team effort generally.

Also, there is some hope, based on this game, that the team will see to it that Kelly gets the ball close to the basket. His offensive ability is crucial to the success of this team; he needs to keep working on his defense, in order to justify his presence in the lineup.

What a relief to have a coach!
UrsaMajor
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I, too, didn't know about Paris' injury. Once we went up 5-0 in OT, I assumed he stayed on the bench because at that point defense was the key and Brown and South are both better defenders.
Civil Bear
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Civil Bear said:

Thanks for the recap. I was expecting the hero ball to come out when Cal got down by 9 with 5 minutes to go, but kudos to the Bears for sticking to the game plan.

Perhaps not so coincidentally, Paris was not in the game for the comeback stretch and the OT. I figured it must have had to with defense and needing stops. I don't think injury was part of the equation since he looked fine speeding the ball down court on the last play of regulation.
p.s. I'd add Cal appeared to get the benefit of some home cooking from about the final 5 minute mark on. Lot's of close non-calls went their way. Something I haven't seen at Hass for quite some time.
SFCityBear
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Civil Bear said:

Thanks for the recap. I was expecting the hero ball to come out when Cal got down by 9 with 5 minutes to go, but kudos to the Bears for sticking to the game plan.

Perhaps not so coincidentally, Paris was not in the game for the comeback stretch and the OT. I figured it must have had to with defense and needing stops. I don't think injury was part of the equation since he looked fine speeding the ball down court on the last play of regulation.
I watched the game on TV. There was one play I remember when Austin scored a basket and turned around to run back on defense, and he winced. The camera stayed on him and he was grimacing as he ran, so I think he was in pain. After the game, Fox revealed that Austin had been injured and missed some practices, so it makes sense that the injury might be bothering him.

In the closing seconds, Ben Braun said this was the part of the game when UNLV might start making intentional fouls. Immediately, Fox put Austin back in the game for Brown, and one reason might be he would rather see Austin shooting free throws (75% last season) than Brown. That also made sense.
UrsaMajor
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SFCityBear said:

Civil Bear said:

Thanks for the recap. I was expecting the hero ball to come out when Cal got down by 9 with 5 minutes to go, but kudos to the Bears for sticking to the game plan.

Perhaps not so coincidentally, Paris was not in the game for the comeback stretch and the OT. I figured it must have had to with defense and needing stops. I don't think injury was part of the equation since he looked fine speeding the ball down court on the last play of regulation.
I watched the game on TV. There was one play I remember when Austin scored a basket and turned around to run back on defense, and he winced. The camera stayed on him and he was grimacing as he ran, so I think he was in pain. After the game, Fox revealed that Austin had been injured and missed some practices, so it makes sense that the injury might be bothering him.

In the closing seconds, Ben Braun said this was the part of the game when UNLV might start making intentional fouls. Immediately, Fox put Austin back in the game for Brown, and one reason might be he would rather see Austin shooting free throws (75% last season) than Brown. That also made sense.
Good point about foul shooting. I really get the feeling that Fox knows his players and how to use his lineup. With a 5-0 lead in OT it made sense to have South and Brown in because they were better defenders.

btw, don't you love the improvement in JHD?
KoreAmBear
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UrsaMajor said:

SFCityBear said:

Civil Bear said:

Thanks for the recap. I was expecting the hero ball to come out when Cal got down by 9 with 5 minutes to go, but kudos to the Bears for sticking to the game plan.

Perhaps not so coincidentally, Paris was not in the game for the comeback stretch and the OT. I figured it must have had to with defense and needing stops. I don't think injury was part of the equation since he looked fine speeding the ball down court on the last play of regulation.
I watched the game on TV. There was one play I remember when Austin scored a basket and turned around to run back on defense, and he winced. The camera stayed on him and he was grimacing as he ran, so I think he was in pain. After the game, Fox revealed that Austin had been injured and missed some practices, so it makes sense that the injury might be bothering him.

In the closing seconds, Ben Braun said this was the part of the game when UNLV might start making intentional fouls. Immediately, Fox put Austin back in the game for Brown, and one reason might be he would rather see Austin shooting free throws (75% last season) than Brown. That also made sense.
Good point about foul shooting. I really get the feeling that Fox knows his players and how to use his lineup. With a 5-0 lead in OT it made sense to have South and Brown in because they were better defenders.

btw, don't you love the improvement in JHD?
JHD looks like a different person, but I think also Wyking's staff had no confidence in him and did not utilize him properly. At the end of last season, he was a dejected soul. So props to the current coaching staff for building him back up. Glad he stayed!
SFCityBear
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UrsaMajor said:

SFCityBear said:

Civil Bear said:

Thanks for the recap. I was expecting the hero ball to come out when Cal got down by 9 with 5 minutes to go, but kudos to the Bears for sticking to the game plan.

Perhaps not so coincidentally, Paris was not in the game for the comeback stretch and the OT. I figured it must have had to with defense and needing stops. I don't think injury was part of the equation since he looked fine speeding the ball down court on the last play of regulation.
I watched the game on TV. There was one play I remember when Austin scored a basket and turned around to run back on defense, and he winced. The camera stayed on him and he was grimacing as he ran, so I think he was in pain. After the game, Fox revealed that Austin had been injured and missed some practices, so it makes sense that the injury might be bothering him.

In the closing seconds, Ben Braun said this was the part of the game when UNLV might start making intentional fouls. Immediately, Fox put Austin back in the game for Brown, and one reason might be he would rather see Austin shooting free throws (75% last season) than Brown. That also made sense.
Good point about foul shooting. I really get the feeling that Fox knows his players and how to use his lineup. With a 5-0 lead in OT it made sense to have South and Brown in because they were better defenders.

btw, don't you love the improvement in JHD?
JHD looked better than I remember seeing him look. He is playing with more confidence and except for a couple of times, he played under more control than I remember. He still seems to get a little down on himself or take some of his mistakes too seriously. Clearly an athletic player, and he made a big difference in the game.

I would also say that Austin's defense has improved. That play where he closed out on the shooter on a three, and drew the foul when the shooter jumped into him was as good a defense as you can play in that situation, short of blocking the shot or stripping the shooter of the ball.
SFCityBear
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KoreAmBear said:

UrsaMajor said:

SFCityBear said:

Civil Bear said:

Thanks for the recap. I was expecting the hero ball to come out when Cal got down by 9 with 5 minutes to go, but kudos to the Bears for sticking to the game plan.

Perhaps not so coincidentally, Paris was not in the game for the comeback stretch and the OT. I figured it must have had to with defense and needing stops. I don't think injury was part of the equation since he looked fine speeding the ball down court on the last play of regulation.
I watched the game on TV. There was one play I remember when Austin scored a basket and turned around to run back on defense, and he winced. The camera stayed on him and he was grimacing as he ran, so I think he was in pain. After the game, Fox revealed that Austin had been injured and missed some practices, so it makes sense that the injury might be bothering him.

In the closing seconds, Ben Braun said this was the part of the game when UNLV might start making intentional fouls. Immediately, Fox put Austin back in the game for Brown, and one reason might be he would rather see Austin shooting free throws (75% last season) than Brown. That also made sense.
Good point about foul shooting. I really get the feeling that Fox knows his players and how to use his lineup. With a 5-0 lead in OT it made sense to have South and Brown in because they were better defenders.

btw, don't you love the improvement in JHD?
JHD looks like a different person, but I think also Wyking's staff had no confidence in him and did not utilize him properly. At the end of last season, he was a dejected soul. So props to the current coaching staff for building him back up. Glad he stayed!
Good points.
3146gabby
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I may be wrong but Dyson blocked the last shot in overtime.....might have been more of a strip but crucial and well done
Big C
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KoreAmBear said:

UrsaMajor said:

SFCityBear said:

Civil Bear said:

Thanks for the recap. I was expecting the hero ball to come out when Cal got down by 9 with 5 minutes to go, but kudos to the Bears for sticking to the game plan.

Perhaps not so coincidentally, Paris was not in the game for the comeback stretch and the OT. I figured it must have had to with defense and needing stops. I don't think injury was part of the equation since he looked fine speeding the ball down court on the last play of regulation.
I watched the game on TV. There was one play I remember when Austin scored a basket and turned around to run back on defense, and he winced. The camera stayed on him and he was grimacing as he ran, so I think he was in pain. After the game, Fox revealed that Austin had been injured and missed some practices, so it makes sense that the injury might be bothering him.

In the closing seconds, Ben Braun said this was the part of the game when UNLV might start making intentional fouls. Immediately, Fox put Austin back in the game for Brown, and one reason might be he would rather see Austin shooting free throws (75% last season) than Brown. That also made sense.
Good point about foul shooting. I really get the feeling that Fox knows his players and how to use his lineup. With a 5-0 lead in OT it made sense to have South and Brown in because they were better defenders.

btw, don't you love the improvement in JHD?
JHD looks like a different person, but I think also Wyking's staff had no confidence in him and did not utilize him properly. At the end of last season, he was a dejected soul. So props to the current coaching staff for building him back up. Glad he stayed!
JHD and Andre Kelly, both.
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