Cal Hands Bulldogs First Loss
BERKELEY – California opened the game on an 11-2 run and never trailed as it defended Haas Pavilion with a 65-57 victory over previously undefeated Fresno State on Sunday night.
Jordan Shepherd poured in a game-high 17 points and added a season-best seven rebounds while Andre Kelly (14 points) and Grant Anticevich (13 points) also scored in double figures. Cal improved to 3-4 overall and snapped a two-game skid while Fresno State dropped to 5-1.
Shepherd's 17 points – his most since scoring 29 in his Cal debut on Nov. 9 vs. UC San Diego – included an off-balance, shot clock-beating three-pointer in front of Cal's bench that put the Bears up by 11 with 2:28 left in the game. Cal's largest lead of the night came 40 seconds later when Kuany Kuany's three-pointer extended the lead to 14.
"Time was running down so I had to get a shot up," Shepherd said. "That was the best look and the most space I could create. Just got it up there, prayed for the best and it went down."
Kelly was the early catalyst with six points in the game-opening 11-2 run. The senior made his first five shots and finished 6-8 from the field to go along with five rebounds. Though Fresno State pulled within reach during the first half – including a 17-17 tie at the 8:29 mark – Cal closed the first 20 minutes on an 11-4 run and took a 28-21 advantage into the locker room. One of Kuany's career-high three blocks came during the final run of the first half when he came from the weak side to reject Fresno State seven-footer Orlando Robinson at the rim.
Fresno State was able to tie it twice in the second half at 37 and 40, but a triple in the corner from Anticevich gave Cal a 43-40 lead and launched the Bears on a 10-2 spurt that put them ahead for good.
The Bears shot 47.1 percent from the floor and 43.8 percent (7-16) from behind the arc.
Cal opens Pac-12 play by hosting Oregon State at 7:30 p.m. PT on Thursday, Dec. 2. The game will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks.
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