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Cal Basketball

Bears Overcome 20-Point Deficit to Down Colorado, 82-78

January 10, 2024

HAAS PAVILION - For much of the game, it was looking like anything but the Bears’ night but clawing their way back from a 20-point deficit, Cal pulled out a stirring 82-78 comeback victory over a Colorado squad that came into the game 11-4/2-2 and the return of talented frosh forward Cody Williams. The game was the Bears’ largest comeback since overcoming a 22-point deficit in a comeback win over Stanford in 2009. 

In an unusual stat line, the Bears outshot their overall percentage by 7 points from the perimeter, shooting 40% from the floor but a scorching 46.7% (14-for-30) from the perimeter.

“I was proud of our guys,” Cal head coach Mark Madsen said. “Give a lot of credit to Colorado. Colorado came out and just blitzed us at the start. We were doing every single thing we worked on and none of it worked. But our guys kept fighting and were able to turn the tide and I’m proud of them.

“I think it proves to the guys the simple principal that whatever happens, keep on working, keep on fighting because the tide can turn at any time...In the NBA, there are 30-point swings so no matter what happens when you have adversity, keep working, keep fighting.”

I remember the last time I was in this seat, I talked about the word ‘adversity,’” Tyson said after the game. “A lot of teams haven’t been though as much adversity, like with Devin Askew going down. We’ve been through a lot. We haven’t had a full roster since we started playing. The first game I wasn’t playing because I didn’t have my waiver. The second game, others weren’t playing.

“I feel like we just keep battling and battling. That’s the thing about this team. It’s going to take us a long way because we never give up.”

The Bears sleepwalked their way through much of the first ¾ of the game as Colorado took a 10-0 lead right out of the gate and a 22-7 lead at the 9:43 mark in the first half. The Bears’ shooting was attrocious and their defense against the long, athletic Buffaloes was less than stellar. By the 18 minute mark, the home squad was down 20 and looking like they’d be run out of their own building down 40-20 but a late mini run with a pair of 3-pointers from Grant Newell and Rodney Brown to close out the half narrowed the deficit to 14 heading into the locker room.

The second half started much as the first half had as Colorado took a 19-point lead on back-to-back 3’s by KJ Simpson and Tristan da Silva less than 3 minutes into the half before the Bears awakened from their slumber and went to work.

A Fardaws Aimaq layup and Jaylon Tyson 3 started the run and after a J’Vonne Hadley layup, 3’s by Jalen Cone, Newell and Brown and a Tyson jumper put the Bears on an 11-0 run to pull to within 5 at 52-47 with 11:24 remaining. After the teams traded buckets, 5 straight Tyson points pulled the Bears to within just 1 with 9:11 left on the clock. Tyson would go on to lead the Bears with 30 points on 10-for-15 from the floor and a clutch 7-for-7 from the line along with 5 rebounds. Tyson’s big game was the fifth straight game he’s scored 20+ in a game.


The Buffs fought back the Bears’ charge momentarily, extending their lead to 6 with 7:09 remaining but the Bears again came to life with a Keonte Kennedy 3, a runner by Aimaq and a thunderous jam by Tyson to take their first lead of the game, 63-62 with 5:14 remaining. 

It was back-and-forth from there, with six lead changes in the next three minutes. After a  Eddie Lampkin free throw knotted the game at 70, a clutch 3 by Cone gave the Bears tehir biggest lead of the game at 73-70 with 2:33 left as the crowd erupted. A pair of Jalen Celestine free throws extended the lead to 5 but a driving layup in traffic plus the and-1 by Colorado’s Cody Williams narrowed the deficit to 2 with 1:12 on the clock.

Working the shot clock to :10, Tyson took the ball around traffic down the lane on the ensuing possession and threw down another monster jam to give the Bears a 77-73 lead with 44 seconds remaining.

Colorado made good use of their timeout, finding an open da Silva on the perimeter, with the senior forward burying it from deep to narrow the lead to 1. On the ensuing possession, Tyson again took it to the hole and was fouled on the miss but converted both free throws. Colorado countered with a Williams jumper in the key to narrow it to 1 with 12 seconds remaning. Cone was fouled on the inbounds pass but only converted the first of two free throws.

The Buffs had a chance to take the lead but a 3-point attempt by da Silva rimmed out, with Cone grabbing the rebound in a wild scramble with 1.8 seconds remaining. The diminutive forward calmly sank the free throws to close out the stirring comeback win.

The win doubled last season’s win total, pushing them to 6-10/2-3 on the season. The Bears will next face Oregon on the road Saturday night with a 5 pm tipoff in Eugene.

Discussion from...

Bears Overcome 20-Point Deficit to Down Colorado, 82-78

9,769 Views | 5 Replies | Last: 4 mo ago by HoopDreams
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Go Bears!!!!!
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Once again, Colorado loses in Haas!
Go Bears!
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I love seeing the press conference with Jaylon Tyson and Jalen Cone. They are clearly fired up and excited, and that kind of energy can sustain this team for the rest of the season.
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Great video on the comeback win:

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MoragaBear said:

Great video on the comeback win:

that was fun
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