Bears Bested By Southern Friday Night
BERKELEY – California could not get over the hump Friday night as it fell short to a hot-shooting Southern 74-66 in Haas Pavilion.
The Jaguars (1-3) knocked down 12 3-pointers at a 52.2-percent clip and never trailed as they secured their first victory of the year. Cal (0-4) remains winless on the early season despite a career-high 21 points scored by Devin Askew in the defeat.
Southern shot 56 percent (14-of-25) along with six 3-pointers on the way to building a 38-26 halftime advantage. Cal found itself in another early hole, trailing by 12 less than eight minutes into the contest and by as many as 16 in the first half when a jumper by Southern's Dre'shawn Allen made it 31-15. The Bears were able to reel off an 11-3 run, keyed by 3-pointers from Joel Brown and Askew, to pull back within eight before the Jaguars scored the final four points of the half to bolster their lead.
The Bears outscored their opponent in the second half, 40-36, for the third consecutive game, largely fueled by 17 of Askew's 21 points. The junior guard made five 3-pointers on the night – three more than his previous career best – including a pair consecutively late in the second half that pulled Cal to 66-60 with 1:24 left. Southern responded with a layup by Bryson Etienne and he and P.J. Byrd closed it out with six combined points from the free throw line.
Cal finished with 20 turnovers, its second most committed this season.
Lars Thiemann finished with 15 points and five rebounds while Sam Alajiki added 10 points on a trio of 3-pointers made. Marsalis Roberson led the Bears with a career-high eight rebounds to go along with two blocks and a steal.
Brion Whitley led Southern with 18 points.
Friday's game was part of the campus round of the Emerald Coast Classic, which will continue on Nov. 25-26 next week in Niceville, Florida.
The Bears stay at home to host Texas State at 7 p.m. PT on Monday in Berkeley. The contest will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.
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