Shipp Steers Cal To 80-72 Victory

March 2, 2003


AP Sports Writer

BERKELEY, Calif. - California coach Ben Braun had to pull Joe Shipp aside and tell him to settle down.

Braun understood his player's excitement - it was senior day and Shipp's last shot to play for his home fans in Haas Pavilion. But he was trying to do too much.

Shipp accepted the coach's message, scoring 21 points and also getting four rebounds and three assists as the No. 23 Golden Bears defeated Arizona State 80-72 on Sunday.

'I just wanted to go out on a good note,' Shipp said.

Both Braun and Shipp have been battling head colds, but they weren't going to let illness slow them in such an important game.

With the win, Cal will play rival Stanford next Saturday with second place in the Pac-10 on the line. The Bears haven't beaten the Cardinal at Maples Pavilion in 10 years.

'It's just one more hurdle,' Braun said.

Shipp, the leading scorer in the Pac-10, made three straight baskets early in the second half to keep Cal in the game, and hit another key hoop with 5:32 left for a 69-63 lead.

Amit Tamir and Brian Wethers added 20 each for the Bears. Tamir made all five of his 3-pointers, a school record for the most 3s without a miss, and was 5-for-8 from the field, and Wethers hit a big 3 with 1:04 left as the shot clock was winding down.

'That's when I'm most excited, when the game's close,' Wethers said.

Cal (20-6, 13-4) won its 13th conference game - the most victories for the school in Pac-10 play since finishing 13-5 and in second place in the 1993-94 season.

Curtis Millage had 20 points for Arizona State (17-10, 9-7), which has lost three straight following a four-game winning streak - and all the losses have been to ranked teams. The Sun Devils lost by 20 to No. 1 Arizona on Feb. 22, then fell 88-77 at No. 19 Stanford on Thursday.

'We match up well with anyone in the country if we play defense for 40 minutes,' Millage said. 'If you don't put it all together for 40 minutes, you fall short.'

Ike Diogu, a freshman who came in averaging 20.5 points and 9.4 rebounds in his past eight games, added 18 points and nine rebounds for the Sun Devils. Shawn Redhage scored 12 of his 16 points in the first half, and fouled out with 6:33 left.

The Bears rebounded from an 88-75 home loss to Arizona on Thursday, which snapped Cal's 17-game winning streak at Haas Pavilion.

Following a 3 by Tamir at 7:08, Millage swished one from long-range on the other end and was fouled by Richard Midgley. Millage converted the free throw for the four-point play that pulled Arizona State to 64-63 with 6:46 left, but the Sun Devils had only one field goal the rest of the game.

'That play could have been a backbreaker, but we didn't let it hurt us,' Braun said of Millage's play.

Millage sparked Arizona State in the second half, scoring five quick points in a 7-2 run right after halftime. Cal had four turnovers, including an offensive foul, in the first few minutes to fall behind 45-42. But the Sun Devils couldn't hold their lead.

Cal made nine of its first 15 shots to jump out to a 21-11 lead but Arizona State answered with an 8-0 run, including six points by Diogu, and picked up its defense on the perimeter to keep it close in the first half.

Three of the Bears' first four baskets were 3-pointers, and they made 6-of-12 in the first half, including 3-for-3 by Tamir.

Both teams shot 53.3 percent in the first half, each going 16-for-30. Cal finished 50 percent from the field to Arizona State's 48 percent.

Cal senior Donte Smith, who had surgery in September to repair a torn right quadriceps and was delayed starting the season, scored seven points, the most he's had since also scoring seven against Washington State on Feb. 24, 2001.

'We want Donte!' fans hollered at the end.

Braun obliged, but because Wethers was fatigued. Smith started for the first time this season and played in only his 10th game.

'A lot of people thought that was a token start,' Braun said. 'But he's been playing well. He deserved to be where he was today.'

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