Bears' Season Comes To A Close In Memphis

March 16, 2001

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Demetrius Porter scored a career-high 27 points andhelped stem three second-half comebacks by California as ninth-seeded FresnoState beat the Bears 82-70 on Friday night in the first round of the SouthRegional.

The victory gave coach Jerry Tarkanian a 17-1 record in the first round ofthe NCAA tournament and set up a second-round matchup with top-seeded MichiganState on Sunday. The defending national champions beat Alabama State 69-35.

It was Tarkanian's first NCAA win at Fresno State (26-6) and the second inschool history. He won four first-round games at Long Beach State and 12 atUNLV, including the championship season of 1990.

Porter, a senior guard whose previous best was 26 points against Rice as ajunior, hit a 3-pointer to start an 8-0 run when the eighth-seeded Bears(20-11) closed to 46-43 with 13:54 to play. He ended the run with a nicehigh-arching shot on a long drive.

Cal, which was making its first tournament appearance since 1997, closed to56-51 but Porter hit the last of his five 3-pointers with 7:34 left to giveFresno State a 61-51 lead. He finished 5-for-10 from 3-point range.

The last run by the Bears had them within six at 68-62 with 3:38 to playwhen Porter made two free throws to start Fresno State's closing run of 14-8with all the points coming from the free-throw line.

Melvin Ely, the Western Athletic Conference player of the year, added 21points and 13 rebounds for Fresno State, while Chris Jeffries had 15 points.

Shantay Legans had 15 points to lead the Bears, while Pac-10 player of theyear Sean Lampley had 13, six below his average. He had just four points in thefirst half on 2-for-8 shooting and was 6-for-18 for the game, well off hisseason mark of 51 percent.

AP Basketball Writer

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