Bears Topped By Cougars
BERKELEY – California battled Washington State for 40 minutes but could not close the gap down the stretch in a 71-60 loss Thursday night at Haas Pavilion.
The Bears (5-7, 0-5 Pac-12) were paced by three double-digit scorers, including Andre Kelly (11 points, five rebounds) and Lars Thiemann (career-high 10 points, five rebounds), but were unable to muster enough offensive firepower without leading scorer Matt Bradley, who missed his third game in the last five outings due to injury.
Grant Anticevich scored nine points in his return after missing the previous four games due to an appendectomy.
It was just the second home defeat of the season for the Bears as they outscored the Cougars, 20-16, in points off the bench and won the turnover battle, 15-7, but were out-rebounded (45-29) and were out-shot 44 percent (23-of-52) to 34 percent (20-of-58).
Washington State (9-1, 2-1 Pac-12) was led by Isaac Bonton, who scored a game-high 21 points along with six assists and five rebounds.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Bears used an 11-0 run, including a 3-pointer from Anticevich on his first attempt of the game, to take an early 11-7 lead. Cal clamped down defensively over the next four minutes to force five WSU turnovers and led 17-13 with 10:58 left in the first half.
Joel Brown finished with a euro step and layup as the teams traded baskets over the next few minutes, leading to a 22-21 Cougar lead at the last media timeout of the half (3:37). Betley drained a triple from deep beyond the arc to end a 15-2 WSU run and pull the Bears within 28-24 as Cal called a timeout.
Cal scored four straight to tie the game before a Cougar 3-pointer made it 31-28 WSU at the break. Betley led the Bears with eight first half points, while Brown and Kelly each chipped in six as the teams went to the locker room.
Despite a thunderous one-handed jam by Thiemann, WSU scored 10 of the first 16 to open the second half on the way to a 41-34 advantage. The Bears went on a scoring drought of more than three minutes as the Cougars used a 10-0 run to take a 15-point lead, 51-36, with 11:16 to play.
The Bears answered with six straight of their own to pull within 53-44, and made it a seven-point game on a Makale Foreman 3-pointer with just over two minutes to go. Jalen Celestine knocked down a three of his own with a minute to play, making it 65-58, but that was as close as Cal could get.
The Bears return to Haas Pavilion on Saturday, Jan. 9 with a 12 noon tip off against Washington. The game will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.
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