California Downs Sun Devils, 86-67
March 8, 2001
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) - Brian Wethers came back from a knee and hip injurysustained in the first 18 seconds to score a career-high 27 points and leadCalifornia to an 86-67 win over Arizona State on Thursday night.
Sean Lampley had 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Bears (20-9, 11-6). Itwas the ninth double-double this season for Lampley, the Pac-10's leadingscorer and Cal's career points leader.
Tommy Smith had 21 points and 12 rebounds for Arizona State (13-15, 5-12).
Wethers injured his knee and hip in the game's opening moments and spent theearly part of the first half riding a stationary bicycle behind California'sbench. When he returned, the sophomore guard ignited the Bears with three3-pointers to spark a 17-6 run that put California comfortably ahead.
Wethers, averaging only 7.9 points a game this season, finished the firsthalf with 15 points and was 5-of-6 on 3-pointers.
Lampley was held scoreless for the game's first 14 1/2 minutes, so Wethers'scoring was the spark the Bears to their third 20-victory season in five yearsunder coach Ben Braun.
The victory could be critical in the coming days when the NCAA tournamentselection committee fills out its brackets. The Pac-10 will likely send atleast three teams - Stanford, Arizona and UCLA - to the tournament and couldget as many as five teams in.
California and Southern California, which beat Washington on Thursday night,both are hoping for at-large bids.
Arizona State trailed 42-32 at halftime but closed to within 48-42 early inthe second half before California slowly pulled away. The Bears outscored theSun Devils 14-4 during a seven-minute stretch, punctuated by Wethers' dunk onan assist from Shantay Legans.
Ryan Forehan-Kelly scored 18 points and Joe Shipp added 10 points forCalifornia.