Cal Set For Battle At No. 15 USC
LOS ANGELES – The California men's basketball team will continue a three-game road swing Saturday afternoon when it faces No. 15 USC at the Galen Center. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. PT and the contest will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.
Cal (9-11, 2-7 Pac-12) is looking to respond from a difficult 81-57 loss to No. 7 UCLA at Pauley Pavilion on Thursday. The Golden Bears, who have lost six in a row since first facing USC (17-3, 7-3) on Jan. 6, will play their fifth top-15 opponent in the past seven games on Saturday. The Trojans have played twice already this week, defeating Arizona State 78-56 on Monday before getting topped by Stanford, 64-61, on Thursday. USC's attendance policy for the Galen Center can be viewed on USCTrojans.com.
- Date & Time: Saturday, Jan. 29 | 4 p.m. PT
- Watch: Pac-12 Network | J.B. Long (PxP) & Eddie House (Analyst)
- Listen: KGO 810 AM (Tune-In App) | Rich Cellini (PxP) & Todd McKim (Analyst)
- Live Stats: StatBroadcast
- Saturday's game is the second of five contests in a 10-day span for the Golden Bears. In addition to facing No. 15 USC on Saturday, Cal will play at Stanford on Feb. 1 before hosting Washington (Feb. 3) and Washington State (Feb. 5).
- The Bears are winless away from home so far this season, going 0-5 in true road games and 0-2 in neutral-site contests.
- Cal has lost seven in a row to USC, including a 77-63 defeat on Jan. 6 in Berkeley. The Bears' most recent win in the head-to-head series was also their last win over an AP Top 25 team on the road; a 74-73 victory against then-No. 25 USC on Jan. 8, 2017 in Los Angeles.
- Cal's last win against an AP Top 25 team overall came against No. 21 Colorado (76-62) on Feb. 27, 2020 in Berkeley.
- Cal is 7-1 when its veteran trio of graduate guard Jordan Shepherd (14.4 points per game), senior forward Andre Kelly (13.5) and fifth-year forward Grant Anticevich (10.5) score 10-plus points in the same game.
- Shepherd scored in double figures in 13 straight games from Nov. 28-Jan. 23 and leads Cal with 15.7 PPG in Pac-12 play.
- Kelly posted one of his seven double-doubles against USC on Jan. 6, going for 13 points and 11 rebounds. He's 13th nationally in field-goal percentage (60.1%) and second in the Pac-12 with 8.6 rebounds per game. In six games against ranked opponents this season, Kelly is averaging 13.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.
- Freshman Sam Alajiki scored a career-high 11 points on 4-6 shooting (3-5 3PT) in his second start of the season at UCLA on Thursday. Alajiki is shooting 60 percent (15-25) from 3-point range.
- Junior Kuany Kuany and sophomore Jalen Celestine are averaging a combined 14.4 points in the past five games. Kuany has scored a season-high nine points three times in that span while Celestine has knocked down three-plus field goals in nine of 12 games since Dec. 5.
- Cal is looking to regain the defensive identity it has carried throughout the majority of the 2021-22 season after battling through a difficult stretch in the month of January. Despite recent woes, Cal is still among the Pac-12's better defensive teams, statistically, ranking third in 3-point field-goal percentage defense (30.7%), fifth in scoring defense (65.3) and sixth in total field-goal percentage defense (41.5%).
The Bears will face No. 15 USC at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Galen Center in Los Angeles. The game will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.
For further coverage of Cal men's basketball, follow the Bears on Twitter (@CalMBBall), Instagram (@CalMBBball) and Facebook (/CalMBBall/).