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Bears Hold Off Seattle U, 70-65

December 22, 2020
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BERKELEY -It wasn’t pretty and wasn’t anything like their masterpiece on display in their recent win over Cal State Northridge, but the Bears overcame a rough first have to fight back for a tight 70-65 win over gritty Seattle U squad this afternoon at Haas Pavilion.

Unlike Saturday’s 87-56 victory, where the Bears got out of the gate quickly on their way to 31-point win while shooting 61% from the field and 53% from three, the Bears got down right away to Seattle and never managed to take the lead till late in the game.

“Sometimes you just have to find a way to win,” said Cal head coach Mark Fox. “Seattle came into the game more prepared to play than we did. I didn’t feel great about our mojo today. I thought our preparation was average.

“We have to have a better and more mature approach coming into the game because it’s a game we felt like we should win. But even when you feel you should win, you have to play to a certain level. I thought that their team was really out of the gate better than ours was so we played from behind.”

Once again, the Bears were without leading scorers Matt Bradley (18 ppg) and Grant Anticevich (10 ppg), who was in the stands observing his teammates, while Bradley was on the bench and making his case to get in the game, even after not being able to practice yesterday.

“We’re obviously severely disjointed with the lineups we’re playing,” said Fox. “We just had to manufacture and find a way to win, which we did.”

Seattle, who got up by 10 several times, most recently at 32-22 with 3:23 left in the first half was led by guard Riley Grigsby with 20 points on 7-for-15 shooting along with 8 boards. Grigsby’s the son of former Cal standout Al Grigsby, whose number is retired for the Bears.

The Bears went into the locker room down by four, 37-33 after an 11-5 run to close out the half, with solid contributions coming from F/C Kuany Kuany, who shot 5-for-7, including 1-2 from three to add eight first half points and 11 overall before leaving the game with a turned ankle.

The Bears finally took the lead for the first time on a Ryan Betley banked three to go up 55-53 with 7 minutes left in the game. Betley led the Bears on the day with 17.

After Seattle retook the lead, soph guard Joel Brown hit back-to-back treys to put the Bears in the lead for good. Brown finished with 12 points on 5-for-9 shooting, adding four rebounds, as well.

“Joel’s an improved player from a year ago,” said Fox. “He’s a much-improved shooter. He just needs to develop the confidence in games he shows in practice. He’s been a very good defender for us.”

“I think during the offseason back home, I worked on getting better,” said Brown. “I’m playing with high-level shooters in practice and they’re just raising the bar for us competing in practice. So my confidence has gone up and I feel more comfortable shooting.”

The Bears moved to 5-4 on the season and will be off till league play opens vs. Oregon Dec. 31 in Eugene at 7 pm.

Related: 

Bears Put it All Together in Rout of Cal State Northridge

Discussion from...

Bears Hold Off Seattle U, 70-65

2,612 Views | 6 Replies | Last: 26 days ago by Civil Bear
helltopay1
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saw the game. cut the team some serious slack. Seattle came prepared to play. We missed Bradley & grant. So, our team was a disjointed offensively and defensively. Pleased with kauny.

HoopDreams
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Really happy to see 2K breakout. It's the type of game where he demonstrated his potential. Last year I saw he moved his feet well on defense showing his promise. This year he continues to defend well (not sure about his rotations yet) and has blocked several shots the last couple games, showing his length and quickness.

Last year he showed his potential as a slasher, but he was all arms and legs. This year, he drives are much tighter and in control. His 3 ball is a WIP but he can hit an open 3. That baseline drive was unbelievable as I thought he didn't have enough space, and no where to go, but he was able to slide in and score the basket. Not many players can make that play.


It was also two good games from Brown. In the Northridge game he had EIGHT assists to 1 turnover and shot 5-5 FG. Today he hit 2 clutch threes, and was 5-9 overall. One of the most encouraging signs for me is he is scoring at the hoop, with a tough finish at the rack today. Looks like he is improving his scoring at the basket which is a key skill for a PG who doesn't shoot a lot. His shooting mechanics are improved, but he still has a little too much chicken wing.

KoreAmBear
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I think the last two games will catapult him to some confidence for league play. I believe he can be the combo of Jorge G and Prentice McGruder as he continues to improve. He's more athletic than both.
RedlessWardrobe
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HoopDreams said:

Really happy to see 2K breakout. It's the type of game where he demonstrated his potential. Last year I saw he moved his feet well on defense showing his promise. This year he continues to defend well (not sure about his rotations yet) and has blocked several shots the last couple games, showing his length and quickness.

Last year he showed his potential as a slasher, but he was all arms and legs. This year, he drives are much tighter and in control. His 3 ball is a WIP but he can hit an open 3. That baseline drive was unbelievable as I thought he didn't have enough space, and no where to go, but he was able to slide in and score the basket. Not many players can make that play.


It was also two good games from Brown. In the Northridge game he had EIGHT assists to 1 turnover and shot 5-5 FG. Today he hit 2 clutch threes, and was 5-9 overall. One of the most encouraging signs for me is he is scoring at the hoop, with a tough finish at the rack today. Looks like he is improving his scoring at the basket which is a key skill for a PG who doesn't shoot a lot. His shooting mechanics are improved, but he still has a little too much chicken wing

Joel's offensive numbers are only half the story. I counted three times yesterday where his superior defense lead to Cal baskets. I've been watching Cal basketball for 55 years, he's as good of a defensive guard that we have ever had.
59bear
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That's 2 pretty good showings in a row for for Brown and Kuany. Now, if only Lars can go from "catch/think/act" mode to something more instinctive. And, while we're wishing, let's get Brown up to a 65% (at least) FT shooter so we don't have to cringe whenever he has the ball in crunch time of a close game.
Civil Bear
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Brown:
FT %: 5-15 333
#PT %: .5-10 500

Maybe he should shoot his free-throws from behind the arc...
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