Cal Men Visit Oregon, Oregon State

Jan. 7, 2002

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California Golden Bears (10-2, 1-1) at Oregon Ducks (10-4, 3-1)
Thursday, Jan. 10, 7:00 p.m., McArthur Court, Eugene, OR
Radio: KABL (960 AM)

Saturday, Jan. 12, 5:00 p.m., Gill Coliseum, Corvallis, OR
TV: Fox Sports Net
Radio: KABL (960 AM)

The Pac-10's best defense meets the conference's top offense when Cal visits Oregon Thursday night.

The Bears, who are allowing just 61.4 ppg, are coming off a performance in which they limited Stanford to 31.9 percent shooting from the field and only 54 total points.

The Ducks, meanwhile, are averaging 88.1 ppg and have scored at least 85 points in each of their last seven contests, topping the 100-point barrier twice (103-90 over Arizona State and 105-75 over Arizona).

Cal is a perfect 10-0 at home inside Haas Pavilion this season, but the Bears have not performed nearly as well outside Berkeley, going 0-2 and losing games by 20 points at South Florida and Stanford. Oregon, on the other hand, is 8-0 in Eugene with only the Arizona State match-up decided by less than 24 points.

Overall, Cal is 10-2 and off to its best start since also going 10-2 at the beginning of the 1998-99 season. Seven players are averaging at least 7.5 ppg, led by junior forward Joe Shipp (14.4 ppg) and senior center Solomon Hughes (11.4 ppg). Hughes, though, has missed the last two games with a strained right knee and is questionable for the Ducks on Thursday.

In Hughes' absence, freshman Amit Tamir has stepped in with a pair of starts. The 6-10 forward from Israel played a major role in Cal's win over Stanford with 10 points and five rebounds in 25 minutes.

On the defensive end, the Bears are already nearing their blocked shot total for all of last season. With 60 rejections entering the Oregon contest, Cal needs only six more to match its '00-01 figure. Center Jamal Sampson leads the way with 23 blocks, putting him fifth on Cal's freshman list.

In addition, the Bears have had at least 10 steals in seven of their past eight games and boast a +5.00 turnover margin, well above the +2.55 they had last year when they led the Pac-10 in that category.

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