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Bears Close Out 2022 on a High Note With 80-76 Win Over Colorado

December 31, 2022
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BERKELEY – The Bears capped off a dreadful 2022 with a New Years' surprise Saturday with an 80-76 victory over Colorado, who came to Berkeley sporting a 9-6 record and a 5-game winning streak before the Bears’ upset victory at Haas Pavilion on a rainy afternoon.

“Certainly good to win the game,” said Cal head coach Mark Fox. “I thought we played terrific in the first half at both ends but obviously we didn’t close the game as we hoped but we finished it as we hoped with a win.”

The Bears came out of the gate solidly, despite the absence of leading scoring Devin Askew, who Fox noted after the game was physically worn down and unavailable, building a 10-point lead less than 7 minutes into the game with all five starters getting on the scoreboard in their 14-4 lead.

Center Lars Thiemann was a force early, scoring 10 of his 12 points in the opening 10 minutes, adding 4 rebounds, a block and a steal for the game. Point guard Joel Brown took over from there, scoring the Bears’ next 7 points on his way to a career-high 21-point game on stellar 9-of-14 shooting, adding 3 rebounds, an assist and a steal in the Cal victory.

The Bears took a 12-point lead into the locker room shooting a scorching 60% from the field and 80% (4-of-5) from 3. Overall, Cal shot 58% (29-of-50) for the game, their best field goal percentage in a Pac-12 game since shooting 60% at Washington on Feb. 1, 2015

The Bears were able to extend their lead in the second half to 21 with 6:43 left in the game at 63-42 with transfer guard Dejuan Clayton (10 points) and frosh forward Grant Newell joining Brown in the Bears’ breakout scoring effort. Newell, who earned Pac-12 Freshman of the Week this week had his first double/double, adding 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting (1-1 from 3) and 12 rebounds in the victory.

Cal still had a 16-point lead when wing Sam Alajiki made two free throws to put Cal up 74-56 with 2:14 left to play before the Buffaloes rallied.

Frosh guard KJ Simpson started the Buff’s rally with 10 straight points followed by a J’Vonne Hadley followed with a layup and a dunk to pull the Buffs within 74-68 with 48 seconds left, with the Bears’ wilting under the Colorado fullcourt press. Simpson hit back-to-back 3-pointers to cut the deficit to 79-76 with six seconds to go, but Brown made the second of two free throws to wrap up the win.

Simpson led Colorado (9-6, 1-3) with 25 points and five assists. Hadley scored 17 on 8-of-11 shooting in the loss.

Cal has won two of its last three games after a 0-12 start and improved to 15-3 all-time at home against the Buffaloes. 

UP NEXT

Cal will open the new year by renewing its rivalry with Stanford on Friday, Jan. 6 in Berkeley. The final contest of Cal’s four-game homestand will tip off at 6 p.m. PST inside of Haas Pavilion and will be televised on ESPNU.

Discussion from...

Bears Close Out 2022 on a High Note With 80-76 Win Over Colorado

1,504 Views | 3 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by chazzed
Bearprof
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Really, no replies? Ok I am sure it is stated in other threads I've not read yet, but great win today. Though how CO scored 20 points in 2 minutes , I don't know. That was crazy!!
Big Dog
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Quick, extend Fox before someone else tries to take him.
chazzed
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At the very least, MoragaBear and I replied. The replies are now gone, however. Here is what I posted:

"This will definitely help me enjoy NYE. Congratulations to the student-athletes who make the team go!"

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