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Cal Basketball

Bears Prevail But Dartmouth Makes Them Work for It

December 19, 2021
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The Cal men had more trouble than they should have Sunday afternoon, but the Bears (7-5) finally shook off a cold-shooting team from Dartmouth,  61-55 at Haas Pavilion.

The win, the Bears' third straight overall and seventh in a row at Haas, was achieved despite the victors hitting just 42.1 percent of their field goal tries, 37 percent in the first half. That’s because the Ivy League visitors were equally inefficient. The Big Green shot 34.4 percent. To be fair Dartmouth had some shots that all but went down only to spin out. But Cal was also dogging the Dartmouth shooters, particularly guard Brendan Berry. He came into the game shooting 43.9 percent from beyond the arc, on a pace that approached four made treys per game. The Bears limited him to six 3-point attempts, and he made just one. 

As a team Dartmouth was 6-for-23 on treys, this from a team that came on shooting 33.7 percent.

“Dartmouth has a terrific 3-point shooting team and our objective tonight was to take away the 3-point shot even at the expense of giving up some 2-pointers,” head coach Mark Fox said. “ I thought at the end of the night we did a pretty good job.

“Barry was shooting four threes a game. His numbers were comparable to Steph Curry’s, honestly. And so we did not want him to have a good night I thought Joel (Brown) did a nice job of slowing him down.”

Jordan Shepherd led Cal in scoring with 18 points, including some key buckets down the stretch when Dartmouth was trying to get back into things.

"The completeness of Jordan is really where his value is," Fox said.

Andre Kellly had 14 points, while Grant Anticevich had a career-high 15 rebounds,

“Grant and Andre both have continued to develop,” Fox said. “The key to any program is development and those guys are obviously far better players than they’ve ever been. They have gone through a process of development and they worked hard. Development isn’t about just making shots. Andre makes more shots now. And they are also rebounding the ball better. I think you saw that from Grant tonight.”

Dartmouth, which played at Stanford on Thursday night took advantage of the Bears’ ragged start and had a 14-6 lead in the first half. Anticevich, Shepard and Kelly combined to score seven straight points to narrow the gap and at the 4:23 mark Cal was ahead to stay.

The Bears would build their lead to as high as a dozen in the second half, but the Big Green just wouldn’t go away. Inside the final minute, Cal’s lead was down to 5. But Kelly scored on a fast break and Shepherd iced it with a pair of free throws.

“You just are concerned what kind of rhythm the team is going to be in,” Fox said about coming back after such a long break. “Are they going to be sharp? I thought we had a little bit of that. You have to give Dartmouth credit,  how they started the game. We didn’t make some free throws to start the game and we didn’t play with a lot of authority on either end to start the game. But we found ourselves defensively late in the first half and then maintained that for most of the rest of the game. That was the key to the win.

One bit of bad news for the Bears was the loss of Makale Foreman, who limped off the floor in the second half and did not return. A valuable contributor off the bench, he could be lost for awhile according to Fox.

Cal’s next game is Wednesday against UOP at Haas. That is Cal’s final game before the resumption of Pac-12 play.

 

 

 
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