Bears Clamp Down On Colorado, 71-62
BERKELEY – Matt Bradley scored a career-high 29 points, including a key 3-pointer with 40 seconds left, to lead California to a 71-62 victory over Colorado Saturday night at Haas Pavilion. With the win, the Bears' snapped a seven-game losing streak and improved to 14-2 all-time vs. the Buffaloes in Berkeley.
The game was a far cry from the first matchup between the teams when Colorado ran away with an 89-60 victory in Boulder in mid-January. This time, Cal led for more than 32 minutes and outscored CU, 9-2, over the final minute to put the game away. The Bears limited Colorado to just 40 percent shooting, out-rebounded the Buffs, 40-37, and committed only seven turnovers to match a season low. The Buffs were held to 13 points below their season scoring average.
Bradley had his fifth 20-point game in his last six outings and moved up to 28th on the school's all-time scoring list, now with 1,199 points. In addition, Cal got a career-best 13 points from freshman Jalen Celestine, who made his second straight start. Andre Kelly contributed 10 rebounds for his third double-digit game of the season.
McKinley Wright IV led Colorado with 13 points.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Both teams got off to hot offensive starts with Cal making seven of its first nine shot attempts, including a trio of 3-pointers from Celestine, and Colorado going 5-for-8. While the teams inevitably cooled off, Cal still led, 22-21, nearly 13 minutes in. The Buffaloes forged a 31-27 edge before Cal ended the period on a 9-2 run and a 36-33 advantage. Bradley (15) and Celestine (11) combined for 26 points of Cal's total.
After giving up the first five points of the second half, the Bears outscored Colorado, 12-4, over the next 3:42 and went up, 48-42, on a Makale Foreman 3-pointer. The teams settled into a defensive battle – Cal went more than seven minutes without a field goal while CU had a 1-for-7 stretch – but the Bears were able to maintain their edge. When Grant Anticevich hit a fade-away jumper in the lane, Cal had stretched its lead to 60-53 with 3:34 to go.
Colorado closed the gap to 62-60 with a minute left on the clock. But on Cal's next possession, Bradley drilled a 3-pointer with 40.3 seconds on the clock to put the Bears ahead, 65-60. CU missed on a long 3-pointer, and Bradley was fouled while grabbing the rebound and his two free throws put Cal up seven. Celestine and Bradley both added more free throws to close out the scoring, and the Bears had secured the victory.
Cal travels to Pullman to take on Washington State on Thursday. The game tips off at 7:30 p.m. and will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.
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