No. 24 Cal Meets USC in Pac-10 Semifinal
March 14, 2003
LOS ANGELES -
California Golden Bears (21-7, 13-5) vs. USC Trojans (12-16, 6-12)
Friday, March 14, 8;45, Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
TV: Fox Sports Net
Radio: KFRC (610 AM)
Golden Bear Game Notes
* Third-seeded Cal meets No. 7 seed USC Friday night at 8:45 p.m. in one Pac-10 Tournament semifinal, while No. 5 Oregon faces No. 8 UCLA in the other semifinal at 6:15 p.m.
* A win over the Trojans would put Cal in the Pac-10 Tournament final for the first time ever. The Bears have advanced to the semis twice before, losing to the eventual champion both times - to UCLA (75-68) in 1987 and to Arizona (90-78) in 2002.
* Cal swept both games from USC during the regular season. Freshman G Richard Midgley scored a career-high 23 points in a 73-68 victory in Berkeley Jan. 23, while the Bears outscored the Trojans, 8-1, over the final 2:07 to win, 84-82, in Los Angeles Feb. 22. Cal owns a 120-109 all-time mark vs. USC, having won four straight and 10 of 12 against its southern California rival.
* The Bears limited Oregon State to a Pac-10 Tournament record-low point total and field goal percentage (27.3%) in their 69-46 victory late Thursday. The previous marks were 49 points by USC in a 51-49 loss to Oregon in 1987 and 30.2 percent by USC vs. Arizona in 1990. Cal also just missed the record for largest margin of victory, falling short of the 26-point differential in Arizona's 93-67 rout of Oregon State in 1988.
* The 46 points allowed by Cal was the lowest for a Bear opponent since a 56-27 win over Eastern Washington on Nov. 16, 2001. It also was the fewest points allowed vs. a Pac-10 opponent since OSU edged Cal, 46-43, on March 5, 1998.
* For only the second time all year, no Bear played more than 30 minutes vs. Oregon State. In fact, all Cal starters were on the bench with 5:18 left vs. the Beavers. The only other time Cal was able to rest use its bench as much came in an 84-65 win over Grambling Dec. 20.
* Senior F Joe Shipp scored a season-low 10 points vs. Oregon State Thursday. However, he tied a career high with 10 rebounds and recorded his third double-double of the year. Shipp has reached double figures in scoring in each of his last 34 games.
Radio Note for Sunday
If Cal defeats USC, the Bears' radio broadcast of Sunday's championship game will move to KYCY Radio (1550 AM) due to a station conflict with an Oakland A's spring training game.
Cal-Oregon State Recap
Cal limited Oregon State to a Pac-10 Tournament record-low point total and used a 20-3 run midway through the second half to defeat the Beavers, 69-46. Freshman G Richard Midgley tied a season high with four three-pointers on his way to a team-best 12 points, and sophomore F Amit Tamir and senior F Joe Shipp each pulled down 10 rebounds. After leading by just 33-31 with 17:20 left, the Bears held OSU to only one field goal for more than 11 minutes, eventually taking a 53-36 advantage with less than six minutes to go. No Bear starter played more than 29 minutes, and Cal used reserves exclusively over the final 5:18 of the game.
Shipp, Tamir Double Up on Boards
For the second time this season, senior F Joe Shipp and sophomore F Amit Tamir both snagged 10 rebounds in a game when Cal's All-Pac-10 duo performed the feat vs. Oregon State Thursday. Back on Feb. 25, Shipp, Tamir and junior F Conor Famulener all had 10 boards in the Bears' 80-69 win over UCLA in Berkeley.
Cal Pair Moving Up Scoring List
Senior F Joe Shipp and senior G Brian Wethers have combined for 2,799 points for the Bears, putting both players in Cal's all-time Top 20. Shipp ranks sixth in career points with 1,603, needing just six more to pass Leonard Taylor (1,608 from 1985-89) for fifth place. Wethers, meanwhile, broke out of a tie for 16th with Gene Ransom Thursday and now has 1,196 points. Next up is Doug True (1977-80), who is 15th with 1,215 points.
Bears Improve to 8-6 Away from Home
Cal raised its record in road and neutral games to 8-6 with its 69-46 win over Oregon State, the Bears' best since they were 10-8 in 1997 when they reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament during Ben Braun's first year at the school. This season, Cal is 7-4 on opponent home courts and 1-2 in neutral-site competitions.
Cal One Win from Tying Best Run since 1960
With a combined 82 wins over the past four seasons, Cal needs just one more victory to tie the 1999-2002 clubs for most wins in a four-year span since the 1957-60 teams captured 93 victories. The Bears were 18-15 in 2000, 20-11 in '01 and 23-9 last season, in addition to being 21-7 this year.
Rebounding Margin Key Stat in Cal Results
If there is one statistic that stands out as a key indicator of Cal's results, it is rebounding margin. Through 28 games, the Bears are a perfect 16-0 when they out-rebound their opponent, but just 5-7 when they don't. Perhaps more significant, Cal's rebound margin is +4.0 in the Bears' 21 wins and -6.3 in their seven losses. Cal's highest margin was +22 vs. Grambling (53-31) - the team's largest since posting a +25 advantage vs. Texas Southern (47-22) on Nov. 30, 1996. Overall, Cal averages 1.5 more rebounds than its opponents.
Midgley Tops Freshman Three-Point List
PG Richard Midgley, who made 4-of-7 three-point attempts vs. Oregon State, has moved to the top of Cal's freshman three-point accuracy list at 45.9 percent, bettering the mark of 42.7 percent set by Shantay Legans in 2000. Midgley is 39-for-85 from long range this year, which places him fourth on the three-pointers made chart.
Cal Freshman Three-Point Percentage1. Richard Midgley (2003) .459 (39-85)2. Shantay Legans (2000) .427 (47-110)3. Ryan Drew (1988) .395 (60-152)4. K.J. Roberts (1992) .387 (36-93)
Golden Bear Notes ...
Junior G A.J. Diggs suffered a sprained left ankle vs. Oregon State, but he is listed as probable for Friday's game vs. USC ... Cal is looking for its first two-game winning streak since the Bears won four in a row from Feb. 6-15 ... after the OSU game, Cal's Big Three of Joe Shipp, Amit Tamir and Brian Wethers are now combining for 68.6 percent of the team's point total ... the 23-point victory margin against OSU was Cal's largest since defeating Washington State, 90-57, on Jan. 19, 2002 ... Cal has committed fewer than 10 turnovers four times this season, including twice in the Bears' last three games; for the season, Cal is averaging just 13.9 turnovers per game ... Shipp and Tamir were voted to the All-Pac-10 team, while Wethers received honorable mention recognition; Richard Midgley earned Pac-10 All-Freshman honors ... Shipp also gained spots on the NABC and USBWA All-District squads.