Defense Lead Cal Men to 67-60 Win over Santa Clara
Nov. 20, 2001
BERKELEY - Cal overcame a woeful shooting performance from three-point range and held on to beat Santa Clara, 67-60, Tuesday night in Haas Pavilion. With the win, the Bears are now 3-0 for the first time since 1995.
Cal opened the game by missing its first 16 shots from behind the arc and finished the half just 3-for-20. It didn't get any better after the break, as the Bears were only 1-for-10 over the final 20 minutes to finish 4-for-32 (12.5%).
However, Cal prevailed with another strong defensive effort and has held all three of its opponents this year to 60 points or less. Santa Clara (0-2) shot just 36.7 percent from the floor. The Bears outrebounded the Broncos, 40-36, and blocked seven shots to SCU's none.
Still, five players scored in double figures, led by 13 from junior guard Shantay Legans and 12 each from Ryan Forehan-Kelly and Brian Wethers. Joe Shipp and Solomon Hughes chipped in with 11 points apiece.
Santa Clara built an 8-4 lead five minutes into the game before Cal finally tied it at 10-10 at the 11:40 mark. The Bears trailed by as many as five points, but battled back to own a 34-31 edge at the half.
Cal came out of intermission on a 12-4 run to go up, 46-35, on a breakaway dunk by Dennis Gates. The lead ballooned to 16 on an 8-0 spurt, capped by another dunk by Wethers, and Cal led, 60-44, with 5:49 remaining in the contest.
SCU cut its deficit to 60-54 with 1:07 left. However, Wethers and Legans combined to make 7-of-8 free throws down the stretch.
Head Coach Ben Braun Postgame Quotes
'Dick Davey's teams always compete. They did as good a job scouting us as anybody. Those guys fought hard and forced us to make some adjustments at halftime.'
'I really think Santa Clara was hungry in the beginning of the game and we weren't until the second half. That's when we got our intensity back.'
'New Mexico is coming in on Wednesday and that's going to be a challenge for us, just like Princeton and Santa Clara have been, but that's what we want, to be challenged early in the season, both in practice and in our games.'
On Cal's three-point shooting:
'I really believe we can shoot the ball better. I thought some of the shots we missed were good looks, but a lot of the others were ill-advised.'