Cal Meets UCLA in Pac-10 Title Game
March 11, 2006
UCLA Bruins (26-6, 14-4) vs. California Golden Bears (20-9, 12-6)
Saturday, March 11, 3:15 p.m., Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Radio: KYCY (1550 AM)
With its 91-87 double-overtime victory over Oregon Friday, California has advanced to the Pac-10 Tournament final for the first time ever. The Golden Bears will face UCLA for the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament at 3:15 p.m. Saturday in the Staples Center. Prior to this week's run, Cal had reached the semifinal round three times, but never the championship game.
Cal Seeks First Conference Title since 1960
This afternoon, Cal will be aiming for its first conference championship (regular season or tournament) since Hall of Famer Pete Newell's teams captured four straight league crowns from 1957-60. During those years, the precursor to the Pac-10 went by either the Pacific Coast Conference or the Athletic Association of Western Universities. Over the ensuing seasons, the Bears have placed second in the league four times: 1993, 1994, 1997 and 2002.
Cal-UCLA Series History
UCLA leads the all-time series with Cal, 122-94, although the school have split their seasonal meetings each of the past eight years. In 2005-06, the Bears prevailed, 68-61, over the then-No. 11 Bruins in Los Angeles Dec. 31 behind 18 points from Ayinde Ubaka. Leon Powe was limited to a season-low five points, but he contributed a game-high 12 rebounds. Then on March 2 in Berkeley, UCLA rallied from a 31-20 halftime deficit for a 67-58 overtime victory. Powe had 20 points and a season-low three rebounds for Cal. In Pac-10 Tournament action, the schools are 1-1 against each other. UCLA won, 75-68, in the 1987 semifinals, while the Bears took the 2002 quarterfinal meeting, 67-61.
Leon Powe Puts Together Back-to-Back Monster Efforts
In the first two rounds of the 2006 Pac-10 Tournament, sophomore F Leon Powe has put together two of the most impressive performances of his career, coming through with record-setting efforts in both games. Against USC Thursday, he finished with 22 points and 20 rebounds. The rebound total was a tournament record (previous: 18 by Ike Diogu of Arizona State vs. Oregon in 2003), a career high and the most for a Cal player since Mark McNamara also had 20 at Arizona in 1982. Then on Friday vs. Oregon, Powe scored a tournament-record 41 points (previous: 39 by Reggie Miller of UCLA vs. Arizona State in 1987), sinking 14-of-17 shots from the floor and making 13-of-18 from the free throw line. Powe had 15 points in the first half, 21 in the second half and six more in the extra periods. The total tied for the third highest in school history.
Cal Single-Game Scoring LeadersEd Gray at Washington State, Feb. 22, 1997 48 pointsJohn Coughran at Utah State, Jan. 31, 1972 47 pointsLeon Powe vs. Oregon, March 10, 2006 41 pointsRay Murry vs. Stanford, March 5, 1977 41 points
Bears Get First OT Win on Third Try This Year
Cal's 91-87 double-overtime win over Oregon marked the Bears' first victory in three OT games this season. Earlier, Cal dropped a 65-64 two OT decision to Arizona State Feb. 18 and a 67-58 single OT contest to UCLA March 2. Friday's game was the Bears' first overtime game in postseason play since upending North Carolina State, 76-74, in one overtime in the opening round of the 2003 NCAA Tournament.
Last Time Out: Powe Carries Cal to 91-87 2OT Win over Oregon
Behind a career-high 41 points from Leon Powe, Cal defeated Oregon, 91-87, in double overtime Friday to reach the Pac-10 Tournament final for the first time in school history. Powe scored 35 of the Bears' 66 points in regulation. Ayinde Ubaka sent the contest into the first extra period with a runner with two seconds left to tie the game. Powe's layup with 1:01 remaining were the final points of the first overtime, tying the score at 73-all. Cal then scored the first seven points of the second OT and didn't trail again. Ubaka chipped in 12 of his 17 points in the overtimes, while freshman Theo Robertson finished with a career-best 18 points.
Braun Wins 20 Games for Sixth Time at Cal
With Cal's win over Oregon Friday, the Bears picked up their 20th victory of the season, the sixth time during head coach Ben Braun's tenure in Berkeley Cal has had 20 or more triumphs in a year. No other coach in school history has directed Cal to more than four 20-win seasons.
Ubaka Nearing Cal Three-Point Record
With another three-pointer against Oregon Friday, junior G Ayinde Ubaka now has 59 treys on the season - sixth most in school history. He entered the year with just 40 career treys in his first two seasons combined. In addition, Ubaka is shooting 37.8 percent from the floor - far higher than his career 27.6 percent rate prior to 2005-06.
Cal Career Three-Pointers List1. Ryan Drew (1990) 682. Bill Elleby (1992) 643. Amit Tamir (2003) 614. Randy Duck (1997) 604. Ryan Drew (1988) 606. Ayinde Ubaka (2006) 59
Powe Sets One FT Record, Nearing Another
In his two games in the Pac-10 Tournament, Leon Powe has combined to shoot 25-for-35 from the free throw line (12-17 vs. USC; 13-18 vs. Oregon). As a result, he has broken the school record for free throw attempts in a season with 257, surpassing the mark of 253 set by Jackie Ridgle in 1969. In addition, Powe has made 185 of his FT tries - No. 2 on the Cal list and just behind Ridgle's 1969 total of 187.
More Powe Notes
After his 22-point, 20-rebound effort vs. USC, Leon Powe now has 14 double-doubles on the year - matching his 2003-04 season total and most in the Pac-10 this season ... Powe's 20.9 ppg this season is the highest for a Cal player since Ed Gray poured in a school-record 24.8 ppg in 1997 ... Powe's career average of 17.9 ppg ties for the fifth highest in school history (also Jackie Ridgle, 1969-71) ... Powe has reached double figures in scoring in 18 consecutive games, including four straight contests with 20 or more points.
Robertson Comes to the Rescue
Throughout the season, freshman F Theo Robertson has adapted to the role Cal needs him to play. For the most part, he has been the Bears' top scoring threat off the bench, but he has also filled in as a starter during two different stretches when teammates were slowed by injury. On Friday vs. Oregon, Robertson came through with a career-high 18-point night (4-5 FG, 3-3 3P, 7-8 FT), topping his previous best of 14 established back on Nov. 21 vs. Long Beach State. He scored 16 of his total in regulation, then nailed two free throws with 31 seconds left in the second OT to give Cal an 86-79 edge. For the year, Robertson is shooting 41.1 percent from three-point range (23-56), and he has made 9-of-11 treys over his past five games.
Ubaka Continues to Show Finishing Ability
Junior G Ayinde Ubaka has been Cal's clutch performer almost from the beginning of the season, and his outings in the Pac-10 Tournament have confirmed that assessment. Against USC Thursday, Ubaka scored 11 of his 16 points in the second half as Cal rallied from a 33-31 halftime deficit to win, 82-67. Then vs. Oregon Friday, Ubaka hit the tying bucket with two seconds left in regulation and scored 12 of his 17 points in the overtimes. In the Bears' first meeting with UCLA Dec. 31, he tallied six of Cal's final eight points in the last 36 seconds, helping push a 60-58 lead into a 68-61 victory.
Leon Powe suffered a stinger with under two minutes to go in the second overtime vs. Oregon. He came out of the game with 1:15 left in the contest for treatment. Powe was to be re-evaluated prior to Saturday's UCLA game, although the initial indication Friday night was that is status is probable.