Cal Defense Clamps Down on Oregon, 78-62
Jan. 11, 2001
BERKELEY - Using a powerful inside game, California won its Pac-10 home opener with a convincing 78-62 victory over Oregon Thursday in Haas Pavilion.
The Bears, who improved to 10-4 overall and 2-1 in the Pac-10, upped their record to 8-0 in Berkeley this season with their 11th consecutive win in Haas. Oregon fell to 10-2 and 1-1.
On offense, Cal scored 40 points inside the paint as forward Sean Lampley led the attack with 23 points and 10 rebounds, with center Nick Vander Laan adding 14 points and seven boards and center Solomon Hughes coming off the bench for six points and six rebounds.
The Bears also shot 51.9 percent from the floor, the eighth straight game they have been at or better than 50 percent.
Oregon controlled the lead for much of the first half, going up by as many as five points on several occasions. But with the Ducks ahead, 30-25, with four minutes left in the first half, Cal closed out the period with a 13-3 run for a 38-33 advantage at the break.
The Bears shot 58 percent from the floor in the opening 20 minutes, with Lampley and Vander Laan contributing eight points apiece.
In the second half, Cal stepped up its defense and held the Ducks, who entered the game averaging better than 87 ppg and shooting 50 percent from the field, to just 29 points and 26.5 percent shooting.
The Bears had their first double-digit lead at 46-35 on a Joe Shipp layup. Cal then built its advantage to 74-53 with 2:33 left.
Using a switching defense around the perimeter, the Bears held the Pac-10's leading scorer, Bryan Bracey, to only 10 points on 2-of-9 shooting.
California Head Coach Ben Braun:
'I think our team played hard. You can't order your players to make shots, but you can expect them to play hard. The consistency of our effort will be a factor all season long. I thought our defensive effort in the second half was excellent.'
'I think we did a good job on their defensive break and on Bryan Bracey. I thought we stayed with our game plan and got Oregon in foul trouble early. We held our patience. I thought Nick Vander Laan really stepped up for us tonight and I told him that after the game.'
'This was Dennis Gates' best effort off the bench. He was ready to play tonight and was a big factor in the first half.'
'Our team goes 19-for-20 from the free throw line tonight. That's going to be huge in this league.'
'I rather our team makes aggressive mistakes, and we did that some in the first half. But we made the right adjustments in the second half and that was a key factor for us in the game.'
Oregon Head Coach Ernie Kent:
'In the first half, we had good momentum and made some good shots. When (Nick) Vander Laan and (Solomon) Hughes started scoring, it energized them and brought the crowd into the game. We never got our momentum back in the second half.'
'We need to learn from this and see where we broke down defensively. We can't stew because we have to play the number one team in the country. We have to regroup, learn and move on. We have to bounce back and play our style of basketball Saturday.'