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Bears Hammer Sun Devils 74-50 to Start the New Year

January 2, 2022
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Due to COVID issues, the game scheduled in Palo Alto where Cal was supposed to take on Stanford this Sunday, was postponed, and instead the Bears stayed home to take on Arizona State. Considering the late switch-up and timing of the game, there was a small crowd at Haas Pavilion. Regardless of the lack of fans, the Bears seemed unaffected, maintaining their, now, 8 game winning streak at home and five games overall to move to 9-5 (2-1) with a dominating 74-50 win over ASU.

"We just want to play, it doesn't really matter who we are playing," Andre Kelly said after the game. 

The Bears came out strong in the first three minutes quickly taking a 5-point lead, starting with a strong attack to the basket by Joel Brown. The lead was held throughout the first half as the Bears hit an array of outside shots, with threes drained by players across the board, including Kuany Kuany, Makale Foreman, Jared Hyder, Jordan Shepherd and Grant Anticevich. In addition to threes, the Bears were hitting their shots from the field, making them a hard team to defend. Not only were their shots falling, with 51% from the field and 47% from the three point line, but the Bears defense also greatly contributed to their win by preventing ASU from getting much momentum on offense. The Bears were able to take a strong 18-point lead into the locker room, 41-23. 

The Bears came out fast in the second half, with Brown stealing the ball on ASU's first possession, and Anticevich scoring an easy layup. The second half went back and forth for awhile before ASU cut the lead to 14 with 13 minutes left in the game but from there, the steadily pulled away, stretching their final margin of victory to 24 with a three by Anticevich in the final minute. The Aussie senior finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds on the night.

The Bears out-rebounded the Sun Devils by 6, adding to their overall balanced game on the court, something both Jordan Shepherd and Andre Kelly attribute to the amount of trust and skills the team has.

"I think we're doing a good job this year of playing together and trusting our teammates, playing as a unit, playing as one. We know it's not one guy who's going to do it all for us…if one guy is not necessarily having his best night then we have a good deep team so a lot of people can step up and make good plays," Kelly said. 

Shepherd, who had 16 points (9-10 from the line) is also confident in his teammates and aware of the importance of defense in winning games, especially being back in conference play.

"My first role is scoring, that's what I was brought here to do,” Shepherd said. “But if that's not working for me, I played point guard my whole life so I know how to get others involved and I can get involved defensively and try to be the best defender that I can."

Despite their struggles in past seasons, the Bears are feeling fairly confident in themselves this year. 

"We always believed since the beginning of the season, there was never any doubt in our mind. We think we are capable of being a top 4 team in this league," Shepherd said.

“You know, our team played very, very well,” said Cal head coach Mark Fox. “We have great respect for Arizona State. “They’ve played an unbelieveable schedule and were a man down and had to play on the road (with the switch to Cal). So we had some advantages but we also had to play really well to beat a good team.

“I thought our defense was terrific in the first half and we complimented that with really disciplined shot selection and that yielded 7 three’s in the first half and I don’t think we gave up any so that was really key for us. So a great win versus a really good program so I’m really proud of our team.”

Discussion from...

Bears Hammer Sun Devils 74-50 to Start the New Year

2,565 Views | 7 Replies | Last: 4 mo ago by 75bear
MoragaBear
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Staff
This is the first story from our new intern, Ingrid who's followed Cal sports avidly since childhood.

Really impressive, balanced win, shooting 51% from the floor, 47% from 3, outrebounding ASU 38-32 and 17 assists, with only 9 turnovers.
79 Bear
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Nice job Ingrid! Good win Bears!
KoreAmBear
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Strong write-up, Ingrid.
upsetof86
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Nice write up on a great win.
KenBurnski
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Great to have you contributing, Ingrid!
stu
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Ingrid hammers the keys to start the new year!
75bear
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Ingrid bringing it, right out of the gate. Well done!
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