No. 25 Cal Slips Past USC, 73-68
Jan 24, 2003
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) - Freshman guard Richard Midgley had a career-high 23points as No. 25 California won its sixth straight, 73-68 over SouthernCalifornia on Thursday night.
The Trojans (7-7, 3-3 Pac-10) contained California's big three of Pac-10leading scorer Joe Shipp (13 points), Amit Tamir (12) and Brian Wethers (10),but they forgot about Midgley, who made a huge follow shot with 44.6 secondsleft to give the Bears (13-2, 6-0) a 71-68 lead.
After a miss by Desmon Farmer, Shipp sealed it with two free throws helpingCal win its 14th straight at home. Errick Craven had 20 points and Rory O'Neil19 for the Trojans, who have lost 9 of 11 against the Bears.
USC started the second half with an 11-2 run, during which O'Neil scoredsix, to start the second half to take a 45-42 lead. There were then 11 leadchanges and three ties before Shipp scored a layup off an inbounds pass fromTamir, giving Cal the lead for good, 65-64, with 3:52 left.
With the Bears' best three players struggling, Midgley picked up the slackearly, scoring 17 in the first half. His previous career high was 16. The6-foot-1 freshman guard from Burgess Hill, England made 6 of 9 shots, including4-for-6 on 3-pointers. He led a 16-5 run midway through the first half, wipingout a 20-13 deficit.
USC made a concerted effort to slow down Tamir, Shipp and Wethers, whoaverage just under 70 percent of Cal's points on the season. The trio's 35 waswell below its season average of 52.5.
The Bears increased the lead to 40-34 by halftime, overcoming 13 turnoversby hitting 54 percent of its shots (15 of 28).