No. 22 Bears Hang On To Beat Huskies
By GREG BEACHAM
AP Sports Writer
BERKELEY, Calif. - Freshman Richard Midgley scored 15 points and hit ago-ahead 3-pointer with 1:39 left as 22nd-ranked California survived nine leadchanges in the second half to beat Washington 58-53 on Saturday.
Joe Shipp had 16 points and seven rebounds, and Amit Tamir made a jumper inthe lane with 51 seconds left as Cal (18-4, 11-2 Pac-10) stayed one game behindtop-ranked Arizona in the conference race with its 17th straight home victory.
Not many of the wins in the two-year streak were tougher than this one,which didn't feel safe until Midgley corralled a loose ball off Shipp's missedfree throw with 5.8 seconds left. Tamir scored 11 points as Cal won its fourthstraight game.
Nate Robinson and Curtis Allen scored 12 points apiece for the Huskies(8-14, 3-10), who lost their fourth straight. Washington trailed 55-53 whenWill Conroy dribbled the ball out of bounds near the Huskies' bench with 14seconds left.
Cal ended the game on an 8-1 run. Two nights earlier, the Bears scored thefinal nine points in a tough victory over Washington State.
Washington has lost all six of its conference road games. Doug Wrenn, theHuskies' leading scorer, was held to six points on just seven shots in 30minutes.
The Bears won despite a subpar game from one of their top three scorers.Brian Wethers had just seven points, and he failed to join Shipp and Tamir indouble figures for the first time in 19 games.
Instead, Midgley raised his play, capping an outstanding game with two freethrows in the final seconds. His emergence as a starter has been a boost toCal's fortunes during the Pac-10 season.
The Huskies were more athletic than Cal, breaking downcourt for layups andhustling for every loose ball. But the Golden Bears made the most of their openshots in the second half, and Washington couldn't get a field goal in the final2:01.
The Bears survived, but they never took charge of an exciting game.Washington led for most of the first half, but Cal tied it on Tamir's layup 12seconds before halftime.
The Huskies reclaimed the lead on Conroy's 3-pointer early in the secondhalf, but Cal held them without a field goal for nearly six minutes during a9-1 run. Washington then reeled off nine straight points, with Wrenn gettingtwo breakaway dunks.
Neither team led by more than three points during the final seven minutesuntil Midgley's clinching free throws.
With Cal football coach Jeff Tedford munching on a big bucket of popcorn,the Bears kept rolling during the school's best year in ages for its majorsports. Former football center Jeremy Newberry, now a Pro Bowler with the SanFrancisco 49ers, also attended.