San Diego Upend Cal, 72-67, in Golden Bear Classic
Dec. 10, 2006
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) - Brandon Johnson hit a short jumper in the lane with 19.8 second left and scored 15 of his 23 points in the second half, leading San Diego past California 72-67 in the championship game of the Golden Bear Classic on Saturday night.
Ayinde Ubaka missed a 3-pointer from the top of the arc with under 10 seconds to play but finished with 15 points and seven assists for Cal, which made it a one-possession game after Ryan Anderson's 3 at 45.6 got the Bears to 68-67.
Johnson scored nine straight points late, six in a row during another second-half stretch and shot 11-for-19 from the field in the Toreros' fourth consecutive win after a three-game skid. He was named MVP of the tournament. Gyno Pomare added 21 points and six rebounds.
San Diego (6-4) spoiled Cal's shot at its 10th title in the event's 14-year history after the Bears won in each of the past two years on their home floor. The Toreros also snapped the Bears' 12-game winning streak in non-conference games in Haas Pavilion that dated to the 2004-05 season.
Johnson scored six straight points to pull San Diego within 47-45 with 13:44 to play and the teams traded baskets for several minutes. Danny Brown's 3 with 10:10 remaining gave the Toreros a 55-53 edge - their first lead since late in the opening half - and was part of a key 10-0 run. Cal went 4 1/2 minutes without scoring between baskets by Ubaka.
The Bears (7-3), who faced a West Coast Conference opponent for the third time this season, failed to reach 70 points for first time in their last nine games.
Cal's last loss came to 20th-ranked Nevada by six points last Sunday in the Pete Newell Challenge. The Bears beat Chicago State 75-51 on Friday night to reach the title game.
San Diego started 3-for-10 but Cal committed four turnovers in the first 4 1/2 minutes and fell behind 7-2.
But the Bears used an 11-3 run to end the first half, including Hardin's alley-oop dunk on a pass from Ubaka to beat the buzzer, for a 37-34 lead at the break. Cal shot 56 percent in the first half.
Notes: San Diego's Johnson was named tournament MVP. He was joined on the all-tournament team by Gyno Pomare (USD), Ayinde Ubaka (Cal), Theo Robertson (Cal), Royce Parran (Chicago State) and Brandon Bowdry (Eastern Michigan) ... Cal committed a season-high 17 turnovers ... Theo Robertson had a season-best 13 points ... Ryan Anderson had his third double-double of the year with 10 points and 11 rebounds ... Ubaka had seven assists in both games of the Golden Bear Classic.