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Bears Defeat Spirou In Belgium

Aug 18, 2022
Kuany Kuany (center) scored a team-high 21 points to lead Cal past Spirou Basket, 92-62, in an exhibition game in Charleroi, Belgium on Thursday.

CHARLEROI, Belgium – Four Golden Bears scored in double figures as the California men's basketball team defeated Spirou Basket 92-62 on Thursday to earn the first win of its foreign tour of Europe.
Two days after Cal saw its tour-opening contest against the Chinese National Team canceled in Noisy-le-Grand, France, the Bears raced out to a 15-0 advantage less than five minutes into Thursday's exhibition and maintained control throughout the evening. Kuany Kuany led Cal with a team-high 21 points and was one of four Bears to score double figures, including Devin Askew (15 points), ND Okafor (15) and Lars Thiemann (11).
Grant Newell and Monty Bowser added nine and seven points, respectively.
"It's just really good to finally play; after the cancellation the other night everyone was frustrated, but it was great to finally play against somebody else," Cal head coach Mark Fox said. "I thought our defense was terrific to start the game. We had a lot of unselfish plays throughout the night, but we certainly made a lot of mistakes that we can learn from. It was a good first outing here in Europe and a good first step for our team."
Cal owned a 45-33 lead at halftime and pulled away with a dominant third quarter, outscoring Spirou 25-8 over 10 minutes. The Bears scored the first 11 points of the quarter while Kuany notched eight of his 21 points in the frame, including a dunk off of an assist by Askew in the final seconds.
Cal knocked down six 3-pointers throughout the exhibition, including a pair from both Kuany and Askew as well as one apiece by Sam Alajiki and Obinna Anyanwu. Okafor and Thiemann scored 12 of their combined 26 points at the free throw line. All nine Bears who saw the floor scored at least three points.
Jalen Celestine, DeJuan Clayton, Jarred Hyder and Marsalis Roberson did not play.
"We have a group that's very unselfish and they enjoy playing with one another," Fox added. "We have a lot of interchangeable parts so there were a lot of disjointed lineups, but ultimately we'll get comfortable playing together. We're really excited about that potential with our team."
Cal: 24-21-25-22 – 92
Spirou: 13-20-8-21 – 62
Cal will play the second and final game of its foreign tour against Bayer Giants Leverkusen in Leverkusen, Germany at 8 p.m. local/11 a.m. PT on Saturday. There will not be a live stream available. Thiemann, a four-year senior for Cal, formerly played for Leverkusen prior to joining the Bears as a freshman for the 2019-20 season.
"I'm super excited for Lars (Thiemann) to get close to home and I know he's excited for his teammates to be able to see where he's from and experience his culture along with meeting his family and friends," Fox said. "Our time in Germany will be something we all really enjoy."
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