Men's Basketball Visits Saint Louis, UC Irvine

Nov. 27, 2000


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After a 14-day break from competition, the Cal basketball team gets its season back in gear this week with a pair of road games, starting at Saint Louis Wednesday night. Following at visit to UC Irvine Saturday, the Bears finally return home to Haas Pavilion for a Dec. 5 match-up with Cleveland State.

Cal began the season with its earliest start ever - a Nov. 13 game against Mississippi State in the first round of the Preseason NIT in Haas Pavilion. The Bears won that contest, 83-76, in overtime behind 19 points and eight rebounds from senior forward Sean Lampley.

But after losing in the second round at Texas, 57-54, on Nov. 15, the Bears only action during the next two weeks has come during practice. In fact, it's been nine years since Cal had such a long break between games. The last time the Bears went 14 days without playing was during final exams from Dec. 7-21, 1991.

This time around, Cal hopes it has better results coming out of the layoff. In '91, the Bears dropped an 81-75 decision to Houston. But this year, Cal has the difficult task of playing on the road at the defending Conference USA tournament champs.

In their only road game of the season, the Bears fell in a closely contested game to Texas in Austin. Yet despite shooting just 9-for-19 from the free throw line, Cal held a two-point lead with less than two minutes to go.

Even with the loss, head coach Ben Braun was proud of his team's defensive effort, which limited the Longhorns to 34.4 percent shooting from the floor and to zero fast-break points.

Offensively, Lampley continues to pace the squad with 12.5 ppg and 7.5 rpg. Already in Cal's career Top 15 for both points and rebounds, Lampley has a chance to move up several spots on both lists this week.

However, junior forward/guard Ryan Forehan-Kelly, a former walk-on, is the only player to reach double figures in both contests, with 10 points vs. Mississippi State and a team-high 13 at Texas. A graduate of Santa Margarita HS in Irvine, he will be making a homecoming when the Bears meet the Anteaters Saturday night.

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