Cal Pulls Away From Pacific, 73-53
BERKELEY – Grant Anticevich netted seven 3-pointers and scored a career-high 25 points as the California men's basketball team closed out the game with a 21-2 run to defeat Pacific 73-53 on Wednesday at Haas Pavilion.
After Pacific took a 52-51 lead with 7:42 left in the contest, Andre Kelly answered with a three-point play that vaulted Cal (8-5) into an 18-0 run. By the time the Tigers (5-9) ended the run with two free throws, the Golden Bears led 70-51 with 2:38 remaining. Cal held Pacific without a field goal over the final 7:42 of the game.
"Our defensive intensity, that's what catalyzed everything for us," Anticevich said. "(We were) running our sets with purpose, people (were) aggressive and just getting easy baskets."
The win was Cal's fourth straight and eighth in a row at home. With Pac-12 play beginning in earnest at the start of the new year, Cal ended its non-conference schedule with a 7-4 mark.
Anticevich scored 16 of his 25 points in the second half – including 10 during the Bears' late run – and added 11 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season. He became the first Bear to make seven 3-pointers in a game since Jabari Bird had seven against Stanford on Feb. 17, 2017. Jalen Celestine scored a season-high 12 points and pulled down a career-best seven rebounds in his second start of the season while Kelly and Jordan Shepherd had 11 points apiece.
Cal was 11-24 from behind the arc on Wednesday, marking season highs in both categories.
"When Grant's shooting it like he shoots it, we're not going to tell him to stop," Cal head coach Mark Fox said. "The 3-point shot is not something we've utilized enough, but tonight we got in a rhythm and it was a weapon for us."
A slow first half saw Cal enter the locker room with a 30-25 halftime deficit. The two teams traded baskets to open the second half before Celestine scored five straight and gave the Bears a 36-35 lead with 16:40 on the clock. Pacific tied the game at 41 by the 13:54 mark, but Cal did not trail the rest of the way.
Joel Brown stuffed the stat sheet with seven points and career highs in assists (8) and rebounds (7) over 35 minutes played.
The Bears improved to 27-2 all-time against Pacific with their 11th consecutive win in the series.
Cal's Pac-12 slate begins in earnest at Stanford at 4 p.m. PT on Sunday, Jan. 2. The game will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks.
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