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Bears Can't Measure up to Cats, Fall 96-71

January 23, 2022
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BERKELEY, CA -Despite the game being at Haas Pavilion today, the stands were filled with rowdy Arizona fans, cheering the Wildcats on, straight from the tip off and continuing to do so throughout the game. The Wildcats took a strong lead early on and maintained it the entire game, beating the Bears 96-71.  

Arizona lived up to their #3 ranking in the country, coming out strong in the first half, shooting 46% from the field. Cal had a hard time matching up with the Wildcats’ height and perimeter movement, and keeping them off the glass and out of the key was a challenge. 

Coming out in the first half, the Bears seemed timid and had a hard time getting much started on offense. Early on, Arizona kept the Bears on the perimeter and prevented them from getting much penetration with their disciplined zone defense. Despite some good drives by Jordan Shepherd, who scored 21 points and inside play by Andre Kelly, who scored 8 points with 8 rebounds, the Bear's shots weren’t falling. Playing against both the Wildcats’ man defense as well as their zone proved difficult for Cal and Arizona's double teams further stifled the Bears’ offensive flow. Eventually the Bears were able to get to the hoop more, though, causing Arizona to pick up 11 fouls and pushing them into double bonus at the end of the first half. 

Late in the first half, Coach Mark Fox picked up a pair of technicals and was thrown out of the game. Assistant coach Chris Harriman stepped up to coach the Bears.

“My frustration wasn’t just about tonight (today),” Fox said. “My frustration was about some stuff that built up to it.

“The official decided, like in third grade, to initiate a staring contest and like in third grade, I took the bait and got my second technical and put our team in a tough spot. But I’m always going to fight for our players, I promise you that. Certainly a frustrating day in that area.”

“It shows that he's gonna fight for us, and that fires us up and gets us going,” Shepherd said. “We know that he's behind us so it gets us going and gives us more energy.”

Despite missing their head coach, and being down 48-27 at half, the Bears came out ready after the break, scoring 9 points in their first 6 possessions, with 4 points from Shepherd, 2 points from Joel Brown, 2 points from Grant Anticevich, and 3 points from Jalen Celestine. The Bears were able to tighten the score a bit at 54-38 three minutes into the second half. Despite knocking down some points on offense, Cal's  defense continued to struggle as the Wildcats went on a three-minute 11-0 run to make the score 66-42 with 12 minutes left in the game. 

“They did what they did but, honestly at the end of the day, they started off more physical than us, and we were basically trying to play catch up for the rest of the game,” Shepherd said. “We can't do that if we want to win, especially against a really talented team like that.” 

“They’re really big, just got a really box out and try to keep them off the glass,” Cal forward Andre Kelly said. “They were doubling pretty hard so I was trying to find my open teammates when I could.

“It's hard to simulate that kind of size and things like that. What I try to focus on is myself and what I can do. Try to be physical with them, make them take tough shots.” 

Throughout the course of the game Cal had a hard time getting defensive rebounds and the Wildcats’ post touches were fatal ones. Arizona out rebounded the Bears 46-37, and hit 48% from the field, compared to Cal's 35%. 

Regardless of how hard the Bears worked, Arizona claimed the game pretty early on, causing the Bears to play catch up throughout the game, something very challenging to do against a well-rounded, fundamentally sound basketball team.

“We just gotta put it behind us,” Shepherd said. “There's no formula to it. We just gotta get back into the gym, work on the things we need to work on. Got to have a short memory because we have some more talented teams we have to play next so we just have to wipe this one out of our mind. Learn from it, but get ready for the next two.” 

“Arizona has a terrific team and they’re really good on both ends,” Fox said. “I thought their size impacted us offensively in the first half. We started hesitant and we never really found success on the defensive end and didn’t play anywhere nearly well enough to beat a great team so hats off to them. They’ve really got a nice club.”

Related:

Arizona Preview: Beating No. 3 'Cats is a Tall Order

 

Discussion from...

Bears Can't Measure up to Cats, Fall 96-71

1,818 Views | 8 Replies | Last: 5 mo ago by calfanz
Dgoldnbaer
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I actually didn't think it would be this close! Our talent level combined w/coaching ineptitude is indicative of how long it will be before we will be a truly competitive basketball team.
calumnus
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Dgoldnbaer said:

I actually didn't think it would be this close! Our talent level combined w/coaching ineptitude is indicative of how long it will be before we will be a truly competitive basketball team.


If you keep going in the wrong direction it is just going to take that much longer to get back to where you started once you finally change directions.
KenBurnski
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Lol Fox talking about behaving like a third grader before responding like a third grader to MB's coaching responsibilities question.
MoragaBear
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Staff
KenBurnski said:

Lol Fox talking about behaving like a third grader before responding like a third grader to MB's coaching responsibilities question.
Ha seriously. You can't tell what's going on on the bench from the high upper corner on the same side of the court where they have press row.

He's easily annoyed.
calumnus
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KenBurnski said:

Lol Fox talking about behaving like a third grader before responding like a third grader to MB's coaching responsibilities question.


Lol, way to charm the press, right?
socaltownie
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Dgoldnbaer said:

I actually didn't think it would be this close! Our talent level combined w/coaching ineptitude is indicative of how long it will be before we will be a truly competitive basketball team.
They are number 3 for a reason but I still remember Cal beating Zona when they were number 1 with that great shot from Justin Cobbs to win.

That tells you that we have been to the mountain top and how far we have fallen in such a short period of time.
Take care of your Chicken
stu
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Seems like a very long time to me.
calfanz
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Credit to him You can't take that BS from the REFs every game.

We have had patsy after patsy coach...

Tired of the 8 v 5
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