Ubaka's Career High 29 Powers Bears Past Ducks, 77-66
Jan. 5, 2006
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) - Ayinde Ubaka scored a career-high 29 points and Leon Powe added 27 and to lead California to its third straight victory to open Pac-10 play 77-66 over Oregon on Thursday night.
The Golden Bears (9-3, 3-0) got almost no offense from anyone other than Ubaka or Powe - no one else scored more than seven points - but didn't need it to hold off the Ducks (7-7, 1-1).
After ending its nonconference season with losses to Kansas and DePaul, Cal has had a strong opening to the Pac-10 schedule. The Bears won at Southern California and UCLA last week and followed that up with the win against Oregon, giving them their best conference start since winning their first seven three years ago on their way to the NCAA tournament.
Cal is halfway to last season's Pac-10 win total when the Bears went 6-12 in conference with Powe sidelined all season with a knee injury.
Aaron Brooks scored 18 points and Maarty Leunen added 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Ducks, who haven't won a conference game in the Bay Area since beating Cal on Feb. 12, 2000. The Ducks have lost 11 straight at Cal and Stanford since then.
The Bears were in control almost from the start, but the Ducks rallied to cut the lead to 59-52 on a 3-pointer by Bryce Taylor with 4:27 left. Powe then missed at the other end but gathered his own rebound and scored to make it a nine-point game.
Ubaka hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key to make it 64-52 and Cal coasted from there. That also gave Ubaka his career-high, surpassing the 21 points he scored earlier this season against Northeastern.
Along with Powe's return from the injury, Ubaka's development as a scorer has been the biggest difference for Cal this season. He hit the big shots down the stretch last weekend in Los Angeles and has more than doubled his output from last season when he averaged 6.1 points per game. Ubaka is averaging 15.2 points per game this season.
DeVon Hardin had an emphatic slam on a breakaway early in the second half for Cal but was given a technical foul for hanging on the rim, leading to two free throws by Brooks that cut Cal's lead back to 12.
Richard Midgley hit a 3-pointer a few minutes later, moving him into second place in school history with 158 career 3-pointers. Ryan Drew holds the Cal record with 214. Midgley then fouled Brooks on a 3-pointer on the other end and Brooks made the three free throws.
Powe got off to a fast start, scoring 10 points in the first 3:48, capped by a 3-pointer that ended a 13-2 run that gave the Bears a 15-5 lead.
Ubaka joined Powe in double figures with a jumper just over five minutes later, and no other Cal player even scored until Nikola Knezevic made two free throws to make it 23-11 with 10:03 left in the half.
Ubaka (16) and Powe (15) outscored the Ducks as the Bears took a 38-27 lead at the break. Oregon committed 14 fouls in the half, leading to 19 free throws for Cal.