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Bears Pull Out Another Overtime Thriller, Top USC 83-77

February 7, 2024
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HAAS PAVILION - The cardiac kids were at it again in Berkeley, pulling out another OT thriller, this time an 83-77 overtime victory over USC. Junior wing Jaylon Tyson came up big for the Bears as he has much of the season, pouring in 27 points on 10-for-15 from the floor along with 11 rebounds in the Bears' big win over their LA rivals - their first in 12 games over the Trojans, thrilling a sold-out crowd of 11,871 -their first sellout in 7 years at home.

One of the keys to victory was the Bears’ utter dominance on the boards against a long, athletic Trojan team to the tune of 54 to 27 - a rare doubling of an opponent’s rebound total. Center Fardaws Aimaq led the way with a stellar 20 boards, including 8 on the offensive end. After a fast start, the senior faltered badly on the offensive end, converting just 7-of-25 from the field while turning the ball over twice and being responsible for at least a couple more TOs, finishing with 15 points on the night.

“I just want start out with gratitude to the community, to the student body, the faculty, staff and administration for making this such an unbelievable venue,” Cal head coach Mark Madsen said after the game. “This is just a massive homecourt advantage here at Haas Pavilion. I call it the Haas of Pain because with a crowd like that, it’s such a hostile environment. So I’m just incredibly grateful for everyone coming out and supporting Cal.”

"They gave us energy throughout the whole game," Jalen Cone said after the game after scoring 20 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including 5 of 7 from the perimeter. "They were loud in there. We couldn't even hear Coach talking sometimes, trying to call the plays. We couldn't have got this win without them."

The Bears played some of their best ball of the season in the first 25 minutes where they held a 15-point lead at the 15:40 mark in the 2nd half after a Tyson jumper capping a 6-point Tyson run. The shot a strong 50% from the field in the first half, taking an 11-point lead. Aimaq led the scoring at the break with 14 on 7-for-12 from the field as the Bears took a 42-31 lead into the locker room.

After the third of Tyson’s 3-straight buckets for the Bears, the Trojan went to work, with 3’s from Kobe Johnson and DJ Rodman (17 points) and a bucket and-one by frosh point guard, who led USC with 20 points - 12 coming from the free throw line - that cut the Bears’ lead to 6 over the next four minutes.

USC was finally able to tie the game on a Collier free throw with 27 seconds left and the Bears were unable get the win in regulation as they struggled to get off a decent shot in their final possession.

The Trojans took a 1-point lead in OT on a Boogie Ellis layup in the early going. Cal guard Jalen Cone did a masterful job on the Trojans star guard, shadowing him everywhere he went and holding him to 8 points on 3-for-9 shooting. The Bears also held highly-regarding frosh Bronny James to just 5 points with his famous father Lebron just feet from the Trojans’ bench.

Lebron James at Haas Pavilion

 

A big dunk by Tyson with 3:32 remaining in OT put the Bears up to stay. Clutch 3’s by Jalen Celestine and Cone pushed the lead to 4 before a Rodman trey narrowed the gap to 1 at 78-77 with 37 seconds remaining. 

It was all Bears from there as Cal scored the final 5 points in OT on a pair of Keonte Kennedy free throws followed by three more from Celestine to close out the game.

The Bears moved to 6-6 in conference and a tie with Stanford for 7th place heading into Saturday’s game vs. UCLA at Haas Pavilion.

Related:

The Rodcast: The Tipping Point

Bears Roll Past Arizona State On Road

Discussion from...

Bears Pull Out Another Overtime Thriller, Top USC 83-77

2,522 Views | 6 Replies | Last: 3 mo ago by 01Bear
HoopDreams
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Lebron James coaching USC


Civil Bear
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Man, what a game! I'm still feeling the stress this morning. This was a must-win as there could be at this point in a season considering the stakes with the sold-out pavilion. I think most of all I'm just relieved for all those students that turned out!
bencgilmore
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great game, but 'stressful' is an understatement for the last few minutes and overtime. things were not looking great there for a bit.

happy everyone who showed up got to see a W!
BC Calfan
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Super stressful!

We did so many things wrong that should have contributed to a loss:
10 second violation
30 shot clock violation
Technical on the bench
Opponent steal and uncontested layup on a defensive rebound under basket
Picking up the dribble and throwing cross court passes against press

Thankfully USC executed just as poorly. Could be Enfield's last season.
Civil Bear
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BC Calfan said:

Super stressful!

We did so many things wrong that should have contributed to a loss:
10 second violation
30 shot clock violation
Technical on the bench
Opponent steal and uncontested layup on a defensive rebound under basket
Picking up the dribble and throwing cross court passes against press

Thankfully USC executed just as poorly. Could be Enfield's last season.

I believe Enfield has been the most successful coach at USC for quite some time.
01Bear
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Civil Bear said:

BC Calfan said:

Super stressful!

We did so many things wrong that should have contributed to a loss:
10 second violation
30 shot clock violation
Technical on the bench
Opponent steal and uncontested layup on a defensive rebound under basket
Picking up the dribble and throwing cross court passes against press

Thankfully USC executed just as poorly. Could be Enfield's last season.

I believe Enfield has been the most successful coach at USC for quite some time.

Exactly! $C would be foolish to fire him.

Wait a minute, $C and Cal are in different conferences as of next year. I don't care what happens to $C and their crap program.
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