Kelly Powers Cal To Double-OT Win
BERKELEY (AP) - Andre Kelly's career night of 29 points and 15 rebounds helped California beat back Southern Utah 75-68 in double overtime on Thursday night at Haas Pavilion.
Grant Anticevich's three-pointer with 2:38 left in the second overtime gave Cal (2-2) a 68-65 lead and the Bears stayed ahead the remainder. He finished with 15 points. Freshman Sam Alajiki had the best performance of his early collegiate career, filling up the box score with eight points, five rebounds, three blocks and two steals in 28 minutes played.
The victory capped a 2-0 week at home for the Golden Bears, who started off the season with a pair of losses. It was Cal's first overtime game since defeating Utah 86-79 on Feb. 29, 2020 in Berkeley; the Bears are 4-0 when playing in overtime under head coach Mark Fox.
Kelly's 29 points and 15 rebounds were both career highs, and the senior forward became the first Golden Bear with a 25-15 game since Ryan Anderson had 33 points and 17 rebounds against Washington on Feb. 2, 2008. Kelly also became the first Pac-12 player with at least 29 points and 15 rebounds since Deandre Ayton on March 10, 2018.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Maizen Fausett hit a 3-pointer with 25 seconds left in the first overtime to give the Thunderbirds (1-3) a 63-61 lead. Following Southern Utah's timeout after the basket, Anticevich made a bucket with seven seconds left to tie it. John Knight III, who finished with 31 points for Southern Utah, missed his potential winning attempt, forcing a second overtime.
Anticevich's jump shot with 28 seconds left in regulation ended a three-minute scoring drought by both teams and the Bears led 57-55. Ten seconds later the Thunderbirds tied it on a layup by Fausett. Southern Utah's Dre Marin came up with a block on Joel Brown's layup attempt as time expired.
A slow start saw the Bears turn the ball over five times before their first shot fell, a made three-pointer by Jalen Celestine with 13:53 left in the first half. Cal warmed up offensively from there, making five-of-six shots over a four-minute span, including consecutive three-pointers by Makale Foreman and Anticevich to grab a 13-12 lead. Kelly led Cal with eight points throughout the first 20 minutes of action while Alajiki knocked down a pair of three-pointers, but the Bears were scoreless during the final 2:09 of the half and entered the locker room with a 33-29 deficit.
Trailing by 10 early in the second half, Cal made a push back into the game with eight consecutive points from Kelly, Anticevich and Alajiki. The Bears also made a critical defensive switch and put Alajiki on Southern Utah's Knight IIl.
"We were having a real hard time with that kid's strength," Fox said after the game. "Sam is a real strong and powerful guy, we went with that lineup and he did a great job."
Cal travels to the Sunshine State for the 2021 Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off, where it will face No. 24 Florida on Monday, Nov. 22 at 5:30 p.m. PT/8:30 p.m. ET. The contest will be televised on FS1 and will be played at Suncoast Credit Union Arena.
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