Washington State Edged by Cal, 55-53
Jan. 28, 2006
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) - Richard Midgley scored 15 points to reach double figures for the first time in three weeks, and California survived a late scare to send Washington State to its sixth straight defeat, 55-53 Saturday.
Leon Powe posted his fifth consecutive double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Golden Bears, who looked nothing like the high-energy team that beat No. 10 Washington 71-69 on Thursday night. Ayinde Ubaka added 11 points, five assists and four rebounds as cold-shooting Cal (12-6, 6-3 Pac-10) got it done at the foul line with a 20-for-25 performance to beat Washington State for the third straight time.
Powe was called for goaltending with 47 seconds left to give Robbie Cowgill two of his 13 points, then Kyle Weaver got the Cougars within 53-51 on a layup with 22.6 seconds to go. Ubaka converted two free throws on the other end, then Aron Baynes quickly scored for Washington State to make it 55-53. Ubaka took the inbounds pass below the Cougars' basket and eluded defenders as he brought the ball upcourt, allowing Cal to run out the final 12.2 seconds.
Midgley hadn't reached double figures since scoring 12 points against Oregon State on Jan. 7.
Ivory Clark scored 13 points for the Cougars (9-9, 2-7), who haven't won since their 78-71 victory at Washington on Jan. 7. Baynes had 12 points and 10 rebounds, including a dunk with 4:11 to play that pulled the Cougars within 52-47.
Cougars coach Dick Bennett used his seventh different lineup in as many games during his team's stretch without Derrick Low, who broke his foot in practice Jan. 4. Washington State has gone with 15 starting groups in 18 games overall.
The Cougars have the Pac-10's top-ranked defense and showed why with an impressive effort in the paint against Powe and Cal's other two big men, DeVon Hardin and Jordan Wilkes.
Powe, the conference's second-leading scorer and top rebounder, scored his first nine points from the line and didn't get his first field goal until driving baseline for a layup on the left side with 11:07 remaining. He went 1-for-8 from the floor, but still helped the Bears improve to 9-1 at home.
Baynes scored six straight points for the Cougars early for a 9-5 lead, then Cal answered with a 8-0 spurt. Ubaka scored the Bears' final six points of the first half - three on free throws after being fouled behind the arc - and Cal led 34-23 at the break. The Bears shot 34.8 percent but converted 14 of 15 free throws.
Cal sophomore forward Eric Vierneisel missed his second straight game after sustaining a concussion when he took an elbow to the head in last Saturday's 60-55 loss at Arizona.