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Cal Basketball

Cal Men Stay Hot, Knock off Utes in OT

February 29, 2020

It has been a tough year for the Cal men’s basketball team, but the Bears are finishing strong.

Two days after knocking off No. 21 Colorado, the Bears closed out their home schedule Saturday afternoon with a 86-79 overtime win over Utah. Cal (13-16, 7-9 Pac-12) has won three of its last four and heads into the final weekend with some momentum.

The Bears made the senior day memorable for the 6.420 fans, whose enthusiasm was a factor in the Bears’ energy level.

“I knew it was going to be a good day when the seniors all showed up in coats and ties,in honor of their experience at Cal,” head coach Mark Fox said. “I think that speaks volumes when kids do that unannounced. They have really changed the momentum of our program and I am thankful we were able to get a win. It took dang near everybody to get it done, but we are thankful for the win.”

Cal, which a couple of weeks ago seemed destined for an 11th place finish in the conference, now stands eighth and could see Utah again in the conference tournament.

“During the summer I just got sick of everybody telling us how bad we were going to be,” Fox said. “I just didn’t think we would be. I wasn’t going to accept that and I wasn’t going to let our team accept that. It was a constant message and I told them the change in this team had to start from the inside...Fortunately for me, I had great young people who bought into what we were doing. Give coach (Wyking) Jones credit he texted me last night. He’s been very supportive of these kids. They came here to have a good experience and this year we’ve made progress.”

The score was 69-69 at the end of regulation, and 71-71 early in the overtime. But Matt Bradley was the catalyst in overtime, scoring six of the Bears 17 points in OT.

He hit a pair of free throws to break the last tie, Joel Brown added another and Paris Austin connected on a tough shot from the lane. The streak was interrupted as Timmy Allen hit a free throw for Utah but Andre Kelly’s tough follow a few moments later stretched the lead to six with 1:40 left.

Utah got within four a couple of times, but each time the Bears had an answer, the final being a steal and bucket by Brown, who had sustained a major cut midway in the second half and had to leave the court to have the wound stitched up.

“He comes over and he’s got blood everywhere, he shows it to me and ‘What am I supposed to do about it?’” Fox said. “I don’t know how many stitches he had, but to come back after that and get on the floor, dive for loose balls, make plays and to really impact the game, that shows the great competitive character Joel has.”

Both Bradley, who led the Bears with 21 points and Kelly, who contributed 15, nine rebounds and four blocks, would foul out late in the overtime. Kelly actually picked up his fourth foul with 5:20 left in the second half and was replaced by D.J Thorpe. With the freshman on the floor for four minutes, the Bears held their own until Kelly returned.

Grant Anticevich had 17, Austin 15  and Brown 11 as the Bears put five men in double figures.

 The Bears had a very good chance to end it in regulation. When Kareem South hit a jumper they led 67-61 with 1:49 left. 

Allen hit a bucket and a free throw to pull the Utes within three. Austin, who is usually mister reliable on the free-throw line and proved it in the overtime, twice had two shots and twice missed the second. 

In between Alfonso Plummer hit a three for the Utes. Following Austin’s last miss the Utes had eight seconds left. Both Gach (yes, that’s his name) was looking for a shot but found his way to the line, hit both with two seconds left and it was on to OT.

The Bears shot only 31 percent from the floor in the first half (9-for-29) with most of the misses coming on shots that looked good but just wouldn’t go down. Primarily because of their stout defense they were down only 28-24.

Fox got into the spirit of senior day by starting all four of the Bears who were honored in a pre-game ceremony. Austin would have started anyway, but Jacob Orender and David Serge, two seldom-used reserves got their first starts. South who had been coming off the bench also started. After less than a minute they were replaced. 

The Bears had six turnovers in the first half but committed only two in the final 25 minutes. Cal finished 12-5 at home. 

Cal concludes the regular season with games at Oregon Thursday and Oregon State Saturday.


Discussion from...

Cal Men Stay Hot, Knock off Utes in OT

4,618 Views | 2 Replies | Last: 4 yr ago by upsetof86
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Matt Bradley 21, 5 rebounds, Andre Kelly 15 points, nine rebounds and five blocks, Grant 17 points and eight rebounds, Paris Austin 15 points, 5 rebounds, four assists, Brown 3-4 shooting and some outstanding defense

South 1-6, but that was a big shot late in the game, 2K with with a 3 point play and some good defense on their tall PG, DJ with 2 boards and 2 blocks

That's what I call a team win!
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