Bears Bounced From Tournament By Wolfpack, 58-52
March 17, 2006
DALLAS (AP) - North Carolina State's video crew is going to have to get back to work. That season highlight film they made this week needs to be updated.
Refocused by that reminder of how good they can be, the 10th-seeded Wolfpack snapped a four-game losing streak with a 58-52 victory over California on Friday night.
Editors can go straight to the final 3 minutes of this one for a pair of memorable baskets by Cameron Bennerman, each of them breaking ties.
First, he made a tough 15-footer off the right side of the foul line, then faked a defender to get an open 3-pointer with 32.3 seconds left as N.C. State (22-9) avenged a first-round tourney loss to the Golden Bears three years ago. Cal won that won on a 3 with 3.9 seconds left.
Playing as an 11 seed last year, the Wolfpack won their first two games. They'll get a chance to shake up the Atlanta Regional again Sunday when they play the winner of Texas and Pennsylvania.
Bennerman led the way by scoring 12 of his 18 points in the second half. He had seven during a 16-4 run that began with N.C. State down by six.
Sensational sophomore Leon Powe wasn't able to bail out seventh-seeded Cal (20-11).
Facing a double-team nearly every time he caught the ball, Powe - rhymes with his nickname 'Show' - made only 5-of-13 shots. That includes only one in the second half, and that was with 16:57 left. He finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Powe tied the game at 50 with a pair of free throws, and Ayinde Ubaka tied it again at 52 on a long jumper with 1:06 left. Officials had to check a replay to determine whether it was a 3, but correctly ruled that his toes were on the line.
Bennerman followed with the winning shot, getting Rod Benson to bite on a fake and swishing a 3 that held up to a replay. Benson looked up at the scoreboard in disbelief after the shot went in, then walked slowly to the bench, stopping to put his hands on his head and arching his back in frustration.