Bears Fall Short To No. 11 Saint Joseph's, 59-57
Dec. 20, 2003
By JANIE McCAULEY
AP Sports Writer
OAKLAND, Calif. - Jameer Nelson hit a fadeaway jumper with 4.3 secondsleft and finished with 19 points as No. 11 Saint Joseph's remained unbeatenwith a 59-57 win over California in the Pete Newell Challenge on Saturdaynight.
Cal's Marquise Kately stole the ball from Nelson with 58 seconds left andDelonte West was whistled for an intentional foul. Kately made both free throwsto tie the game at 57 and Cal got the ball back. Amit Tamir missed a shortbaseline jumper, and Nelson brought the ball down and set up his own winner.
Cal drew a final play for Ayinde Ubaka with 1.5 seconds left. Tamir made along inbound pass to Ubaka in the corner, and he got a 3-pointer off in timebut it fell short.
Golden Bears freshman Leon Powe recorded his sixth double-double in sevengames with 15 points and 13 rebounds in the best showing yet by a Cal team thatstarts three freshmen. Saint Joseph's coach Phil Martelli joked Friday that histeam would triple-team the 6-foot-8, 245-pound Powe, and he was swarmed nearlyevery time he touched the ball.
Nelson, widely considered the top point guard in the country, had anelectric double-clutch reverse lay-in with 6:22 remaining that tied it at 47,sparking a 10-4 run that gave the Hawks (8-0) a cushion heading into the finalminute.
The Bears increased their defensive pressure in the second half and began tohit some of the easy shots they couldn't make early, shooting 54.5 percentafter halftime. The Hawks were forced to take many off-balanced shots as theclock ticked down and they were outrebounded 39-31.
Kately, who switched to jersey No. 41 late in the second half after gettingblood on his No. 25 uniform, added 16 points for Cal (3-4) in the first meetingbetween the schools.
But the Bears, playing for the first time after an 11-day break for finalexams, struggled at the free throw line - going 15-for-24.
Tamir, Cal's second-leading scorer, didn't score until making a lay-in with14:46 remaining, and it seemed to spark the Bears - Cal then went on a 14-2run. Powe's three-point play at 14:09 pulled Cal within 39-33 and RichardMidgley hit a 3 before Tamir scored five straight points, with his 3 at 11:50tying it at 41.
Cal has struggled from the field this season and that was the case again inthe first half. The Bears missed several easy shots and started 4-for-20.
They shot 28.6 percent (8-for-28) in the first half, but stayed within 28-22at halftime thanks to a 25-15 rebounding edge.
The game was delayed several minutes at the 17:12 mark in the opening halfas officials reviewed tape and changed a basket by Carroll from a 2-pointer toa 3.
Saint Joseph's brought its beloved hawk mascot that flaps its arms throughthe entire game and halftime.