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Cal Basketball

Bears Struggle Past Prairie View A&M

November 18, 2019

Faite Williams made a jumper and the Panthers of Prairie View A&M went up 44-39 on the Cal Bears at Haas Pavilion. Cal would use a 15-6 run over the last eight minutes to escape with a win that was much closer than expected.

The game was marred with sloppiness. Both teams combined for 38 turnovers, 22 of which were committed by Cal. After three hot shooting games, the Bears struggled tonight (November 18), especially in the second half. Overall, Cal shot 38.6% from the field and 40% from three. In the second half alone, the Bears made just six field goals, shooting 30%. The Bears lone three-point shot of the half was a big one as junior forward hit an open shot with 2:40 to go, extending the Bears lead to four, 52-48.

Chancellor Ellis of the Panthers responded with a jumper, closing the gap to two. Matt Bradley was called for a charge and the Panthers had a chance to tie the game or take the lead Ellis missed a three-point shot. After a Kareem South miss, the Panthers had another chance to tie or take the lead but Williams missed a jumper and Matt Bradley was fouled with 21 seconds to go. Bradley made one-of-two, pushing the lead to 53-50. Prairie View A&M was called for a moving screen violation and fouled Anticevich on the ensuing possession with six seconds to go. Anticevich missed the first free-throw but made the second, essentially ending the game. Cal would go on to win 54-50.

“Let me first say that we have a lot of respect for Prairie View,” Head Coach Mark Fox said after the game. 

“I thought they played more determined basketball today than we did. I thought we were poorly coached today. I thought we played poorly. And two wrongs make a wrong. We were fortunate to escape with a win. But we have to play better basketball than we played today.”

Bradley led the Bears in scoring, with 16 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the field. Anticevich was the only other Bear in double digits, with 13 points on 4-of-8 shooting.

“They played really hard. I feel like at times we didn’t match their intensity, which was a problem,” Bradley said after the game. “That’s pretty much it. We had the bigger guys and should’ve come up with rebounds. They played hard.”

Cal broke even on the glass with the smaller Panthers, each grabbing 35 turnovers. However, Prairie View A&M snagged 13 offensive rebounds, but it only led to nine second-chance points.

“Let’s give their team credit for their defense. But let’s also be honest with ourselves. And I think that because we have been so good offensively, we thought we could just shoot our way to victory,” Fox said. “And you have to do more things than just shoot jumpers to win. Hopefully, we learned that lesson today in a close one.” 

Anticevich continued his hot shooting early, scoring the game’s first five points and putting the Bears up 5-0. Unfortunately, the half stayed sloppy with 21 fouls called between both teams and 22 turnovers. The Bears were up 23-22 when Kareem South had his pass intercepted and Darius Williams made a jumper on the break to put the Panthers up 24-23 with 8:59 to go in the half. The Bears would score the game’s next 12 points, building a 35-24 lead. The 11-point lead was their biggest of the game.

It looked like the Bears would close the half on the shutout after a Panthers’ shot clock violation giving the Bears the ball with 2.1 seconds to go. But Anticevich through an errant pass that was stolen by Williams, who put it up and in, closing the Cal lead to nine at halftime.

In the second half, the Panthers used an 18-2 run as Cal went very cold to take the 44-39 lead with 8:22 to go in the game. 

“This is an attention game for our players and hopefully we can learn from it,” Fox said. “Fundamentally we’re not as consistent as we need to be and we dodged a big bullet.” 

Bradley agreed that the team was fortunate to win and remain undefeated through four games for the first time since 2015-2016.

“We stuck it out,” Bradley said. “We ended up winning. And we’re 4-and-0 right now and I’m happy to say that.”

The Bears return to action on Thursday against Duke in New York City. It will be the first of two games played at Madison Square Garden as part of the 2K Empire Classic.

Discussion from...

Bears Struggle Past Prairie View A&M

5,419 Views | 3 Replies | Last: 4 yr ago by R90
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We were looking ahead :-)
Pigskin Pete
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75bear said:

We were looking ahead :-)
Cal isn't in a position to look past a tournament qualifier, even if they did lose to Fairly Obvious.
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The game is another data point:

(Sagarin Ranking + Margin - Home Court = Performance)

Pepperdine (75.06+16-3.05) = 88.01
UNLV (73.21+4-3.05) = 74.16
Cal Baptist (74.20+20-3.05) = 91.15
Prairie View (67.77+4-3.05) = 68.72

Average = 80.51 (would be #71 Sagarin)

Last season's Sagarin = 68.93, #214

At our worst so far we're about where we were last year.
At our best, we could be a tournament team.

Not much data yet.

It's all just entertainment, so find a way to enjoy it.
The refs are there to feed your hatred addiction and keep the games close.
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