Bears Fall Just Short Against Cougars
BERKELEY – California took Saturday afternoon's Pac-12 men's basketball contest down to the final seconds but came up just short in a 68-64 loss to Washington State at Haas Pavilion.
The Golden Bears had two chances to tie the game in the final minute but a 3-pointer by Jordan Shepherd with 42 seconds left and a jumper inside the paint from Joel Brown with six seconds remaining were both off the mark. Cal fell to 9-15 overall and 2-11 in Pac-12 action with its 10th straight loss, while Washington State won its fifth in a row to improve to 14-7 overall and 7-3 in the conference.
The Cougars held their biggest lead of the game at 60-48 before Cal pulled close with a 13-3 run that started on a layup by Brown with just over six minutes to go. The rally cut Washington State's margin to two points, 63-61, by the 1:17 mark. After Shepherd missed his potential game-tying 3-pointer with 42 seconds left, the Cougars' Michael Flowers made two free throws to push their lead to 66-61.
Jalen Celestine knocked down his third trey of the game with 25 seconds remaining, bringing the Bears back within two at 66-64. Washington State's Noah Williams missed the front end of a 1-and-1 following Celestine's 3-pointer, but Flowers grabbed the defensive rebound after Brown's missed jumper in the paint. Flowers was fouled and made two free throws to ice the road win for the Cougars.
Washington State's final eight points came on free throws; the Cougars did not score a field goal for the final 7:24 of the game.
"It's tough to lose, especially when you make more baskets than they do and out-rebound them," Cal head coach Mark Fox said. "I thought we did some good things, but not enough to win. We can't play 37 minutes, we have to play 40 and play a little bit more mistake-free."
Celestine scored a career-high 20 points and equaled a career-best seven rebounds to lead the Bears in both categories, shooting 7-11 from the floor and 3-6 beyond the arc. Grant Anticevich produced his first double-figure scoring game in nearly a month with 16 points, while Shepherd finished with 10 points.
Flowers finished with a game-high 21 points for the Cougars including a 7-7 afternoon from the charity stripe. Abogidi picked up his second double-double of the season and seventh of his career with 17 points and a season-high-tying and game-high 11 rebounds, while Roberts (12) and Mouhamed Gueye (10) were also in double-figure scoring.
The Bears travel north to face Oregon State at 8 p.m. PT on Wednesday, Feb. 9 in Corvallis. The game will be televised on ESPNU.
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