Bears Battle No. 4 Wildcats In Road Loss
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) – Azuolas Tubelis and Oumar Ballo combined for 42 points and 19 rebounds, and No. 4 Arizona bounced back from its first loss by holding off California 81-68 on Sunday at the McKale Center.
Tubelis had 25 points and 12 rebounds, while Ballo – the Division I leader in field goal percentage – made 7 of 10 shots en route to 17 points, with seven rebounds and four blocks.
The Wildcats (7-1, 1-1 Pac-12) were coming off an 81-66 loss Thursday at Utah, just their fifth in 44 games under second-year coach Tommy Lloyd. Cal (0-9, 0-2) held them below 50 percent for their second consecutive game Sunday, including a 4-of-20 clip from 3-point range.
The Golden Bears were led by career highs from guard Devin Askew, who had 25 points, while forward Lars Thiemann added 18 on 9-of-14 shooting. Three of Askew's nine makes were from deep while he was also 4-of-4 at the free throw line.
Cal's 78 points were its most since a 78-65 win at Oregon in February. The Bears finished 28 of 63 from the field (44.4%), making just one less field goal than the Wildcats. A difference maker proved to be at the free throw line, where Arizona was 19 of 26 and Cal was 8 of 8.
Arizona led 42-33 at halftime, shooting 57.7% from the field, but missed 12 of its first 16 shots after the break. A jumper by Askew cut the deficit to 59-52 with 10:51 to go, and Cal made 11 of its first 16 shots in the second half, but it couldn't get any closer.
Tubelis had more field goals in the first 9 minutes than Cal, scoring 15 points to put Arizona up 24-10. The Wildcats extended the lead to 32-17 before Askew hit back-to-back 3-pointers, getting fouled on the second to score seven points in a 28-second span and cut the deficit to eight.
Cal got within 34-28 with 3:52 left in the first half on Thiemann's layup but missed four of its next five shots.
The Bears return to nonconference action next Wednesday when they host Eastern Washington at 7 p.m. PST in Haas Pavilion. It's the first of back-to-back home games for Cal next week and the contest will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.