Sampson's Big Night Leads Cal Men over Washington, 62-50

Jan. 17, 2002

BERKELEY - Freshman center Jamal Sampson had 15 points, 17 rebounds and 5 blocks to lead Cal to a 62-50 win over Washington Thursday night in Haas Pavilion.

With the victory, the Bears improved to 12-3 overall - their best mark after 15 games since the 1959-60 squad won 28 of its first 29 contests on its way to an NCAA runner-up finish. Cal also extended its home winning streak to 11 games, tying for the seventh-longest in school history.

With its offense struggling most of the night, Cal relied on its usual strong defensive effort, holding the Huskies to just 17 points and 5-of-30 shooting from the floor (16.7%) in the second half. For the game, UW made only 31.7 percent from the field and turned the ball over 21 times.

The Bears, though, could not create any breathing room until the closing minutes. Cal trailed by as many as eight points in the first half and finally took the lead for good at 41-39 with 14:55 left. However, after a Brian Wethers dunk with 13:19 to go, the Bears did not make another field goal until Joe Shipp scored on a layup with 6:34 left.

Cal eventually forged an eight-point advantage at 53-45 with 2:35 remaining and made 6-of-8 from the foul line in the final minute to clinch the win.

Sampson's rebound total was a career high and the most for a Cal freshman since Shareef Abdur-Rahim had 18 at Washington State in 1996.

In addition to the 6-11 freshman, Shipp had 18 points and six rebounds, while Wethers added nine points in 10 minutes.

Solomon Hughes, in his first game back after missing four contests with a strained knee, played eight minutes and had five points and four rebounds.

California head coach Ben Braun postgame quotes
'Jamal is a very bright young man. Solomon Hughes coming back spurred him a little bit. I challenged him before the game to get 10-plus rebounds. He really took pride on the defensive end.'

'Solomon is a little sore. He'll be back and get more minutes on Saturday.'

California assistant coach Jon Wheeler postgame quotes
'The second half was tremendous. We came out and held that team to 17 points. We didn't do a good job stopping the transition and second chance shots in the first half.'

'Solomon Hughes had a lot of energy for us tonight. When you take two weeks off in the middle of the season, that's hard to come back from.'

On Washington State
'I believe they believe they can beat us. They're going to be hungry. We will have to play a lot better than we did tonight if we're going to win on Saturday.'

Washington head coach Bob Bender postgame quotes
'Lapses of defensive concentration opened up a shot for a close game like this.'

'Sampson's performance tonight demonstrates how we had to change our defense for him, and he changed our offense.'

'I thought David (Dixon) played well tonight, and when David was removed from the game that's when they got a lot of offensive boards.'

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