Men's Basketball Visits UCLA, USC

Feb. 26, 2001

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Cal takes its final road trip of the regular season when the Bears travel to Los Angeles to take on UCLA and USC this weekend.

Although the Bruins and Trojans present formidable challenges, Cal has played particularly well away from home in recent weeks. Since losing their first four road games of the season, the Bears have won five of their past six, including four in a row.

Last year, Cal recorded its only road sweep of the season in L.A., beating USC, 66-62, and UCLA, 73-70. In fact, the Bears are 10-6 over the last eight years in Los Angeles, with five wins in both the Sports Arena and Pauley Pavilion during the span.

One more victory will also give Cal its third 20-win season in the past five years. During Ben Braun's first year in Berkeley in 1996-97, he led the Bears to a 23-9 mark and a berth in the NCAA Sweet 16. Two years later, Cal finished 22-11 and captured the NIT championship.

At 19-7 overall and 10-4 in the Pac-10, the Bears have been a fixture in the Top 25 of a pair of computer rankings the last six weeks. Cal enters this week No. 24 in the RPI and No. 22 in the Sagarin ratings.

Individually, senior forward Sean Lampley continues to make a strong push for Pac-10 Player of the Year honors. With 29 points against Washington State last Saturday, he became Cal's all-time leading scorer, passing Lamond Murray (1,688 points from 1992-94), and he enters this week's play with 1,693 points. A two-time Pac-10 Player of the Week, Lampley leads the conference in scoring with 20.1 ppg overall and 22.1 ppg in conference games.

Also in the frontcourt, junior center Solomon Hughes re-entered the starting lineup against Washington Feb. 22 and proceeded to make 10-of-11 shots from the floor over the weekend. He paces the Pac-10 in field goal shooting at 65.0 percent. Sophomore Nick Vander Laan, who had been the starter at center, should be back in action this week after sitting out the UW and WSU games with a sprained right ankle.

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