Bears Meet Arizona in Pac-10 Semifinal Round
March 8, 2002
California Golden Bears (22-7, 12-6) vs. Arizona Wildcats (20-9, 12-6)
Friday, March 8, 8:30 p.m., Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
TV: Fox Sports Net
Radio: KABL (960 AM)
A Quick Look at the Golden Bears
* Cal has reached the semifinals of the Pac-10 Tournament for the second time in five tries. In the 1987 tournament, the Bears beat Oregon State, 64-57, in the quarterfinals before falling to eventual champion UCLA, 75-68.
* With its 67-61 win over UCLA Thursday night, Cal improved its overall Pac-10 Tournament record to 3-4.
* Against the Bruins, senior wing Ryan Forehan-Kelly tied a Pac-10 Tournament record with six three-pointers (9 attempts). He is the second Cal player to toss in six treys in the tourney, joining Ryan Drew, who was 6-for-10 vs. USC in 1988.
*Forehan-Kelly also tied his career high with 20 points vs. UCLA. He earlier scored 20 at Arizona on March 11, 2000.
* With Thursday's victory, Cal moved up to 26th in the RPI and 23rd in the Sagarin Ratings. In the RPI, the Bears trail only Arizona (8th) among Pac-10 schools.
* Head coach Ben Braun won his 450th career game Thursday, and he enters the Arizona contest with a 450-303 mark in his 25th season. Braun is also just two wins away from tying Pete Newell on Cal's coaching list. In his sixth season with the Bears, Braun is 117-68, while Newell was 119-44 in six years.
* Cal has won 22 games in a season for just the 10th time in its history, but for the third time under Braun. The Bears were 23-9 during an NCAA Sweet 16 run in 1997 and 22-11 when they captured the NIT championship in 1999.
* Cal and Arizona are meeting for the third time in a season for just the second time ever. In 1988, the Wildcats claimed three victories, 80-51 in Tucson, 74-62 in Berkeley and 88-64 in the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 Tournament in the McKale Center.
* Amit Tamir led the Bears with six assists vs. UCLA, the third time he has had at least five in a game this season. Tamir dished out five assists vs. Oregon State Feb. 7 and had seven assists (no turnovers) vs. USC Feb. 23.
* Cal enters Friday's game vs. Arizona with a 23-39 all-time mark against the Wildcats. UA has won the last six meetings, including a 68-58 victory in Berkeley Jan. 31 and a 99-53 triumph in Tucson last Saturday. The Bears' last win was an 89-76 decision over the then-seven-ranked Wildcats on Feb. 25, 1999 at the Arena in Oakland.
* Only three times this season has a Cal opponent had more turnovers than the Bears. In Thursday's contest vs. UCLA, Cal had just 13 turnovers to the Bruins' 19. As a result, the Bears have an impressive +4.69 turnover margin, a figure above the school record of +4.61 set in 1999.
* A win over Arizona Friday would give the Bears 23 wins in a season for just the sixth time ever and match their highest total since they were 28-2 on their way to an NCAA runner-up finish in 1960. In Ben Braun's first season in 1997, Cal was 23-9.
* With 119 blocks this year, Cal needs one more to tie for the fourth-highest total in school history. Freshman Jamal Sampson has 49 blocks, a figure that ties for third on Cal's season list.
* After scoring 18 points against the Bruins Thursday, junior forward Joe Shipp raised his career total to 979 points, putting him just 21 points away from becoming the 31st player in school history to reach the 1,000-point level.
* Ryan Forehan-Kelly has reached double figures in eight of his last 11 games despite getting just two starts during that span.
* After allowing just 61 points to UCLA Thursday, the Bears lowered their conference-leading defensive average to 65.6 ppg. Cal last led the league in points allowed in 1997.
* Over the past two seasons, Cal is 30-2 when holding a lead at the half. The Bears were 15-1 last year and boast a 15-1 mark this season, with the only setback to Arizona Jan. 31 when Cal was up, 31-29, at the break but lost, 68-58. In addition, Cal is 6-5 when trailing at the half this year and 1-1 when tied.