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Basketball: Cal-Florida St. game string

FINAL SCORE: Florida State 80, Cal 77. Sorry to be gone there for a while – newspaper deadlines aren’t terribly forgiving. The Seminoles (7-0) did hold on, but this one got wild and crazy at the finish. The Bears (5-1), down 70-57 entering the final 2 minutes, went small, spread the floor and scored 20 points in the last 1:39. They got within two points with 8 seconds left, but could not get over the hump. Jerome Randle, who shot just 4-for-12 against the long and tall Seminoles, scored 15 points in the final 1:39 — 12 of them from the free-throw line — and finished with 26 to equal his career high. Patrick Christopher scored 17 and Theo Robertson 16 for the Bears, who shot just 39 percent and were 6-for-19 from 3-point range. They entered the game as the nation’s top 3-point shooting team at nearly 61 percent.

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1:21 2nd H: This one belongs to the Seminoles. They lead 70-61 and will hand Mike Montgomery his first defeat after five victories.

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11:32 2nd H: FSU seems to have withstood Cal’s push. The Bears couldn’t get closer than nine points, and now the Seminoles’ lead is back to 51-39. Too often, FSU is getting shots it wants. Cal threw a zone at the Seminoles for one possession, and Luke Loucks hit a 3-pointer. Next time down, Cal trapped, and FSU beat it for a dunk by Ryan Reid. The Bears looked tired. And they’re beginning to run out of time.

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15:01 2nd H: FSU’s lead stretched to 37-23 when Toney Douglas swooped through the lane for a layup with 18:15 left. But Cal is showing some life, outscoring the Seminoles 10-4 over the past 3 minutes to cut the margin to 41-33. Included were the Bears’ first two 3-pointers of the game, by Theo Robertson and Jerome Randle. A breakaway dunk by Patrick Christopher off an FSU turnover prompted a timeout by the Seminoles.

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HALFTIME: Florida State scored the final eight points of the half to lead 32-23. The Bears failed to score on their final eight possessions of the period. FSU’s size is clearly affecting the Bears, who aren’t getting the same looks on offense they typically do. The nation’s most efficient 3-point shooting team is 0-for-5 from beyond the arc. And the Bears are converting just 38.5 percent overall.  FSU improved its shooting to 43.5 percent and is outscoring Cal 9-3 at the foul line. Rebounds are virtually even (17-16 FSU), but Cal has as many turnovers (9-9) and that figured to be an advantage. Toney Douglas has 10 points for the Seminoles, the only player on either team in double digits.

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1:35 1st H: Sensing things might be slipped away, down 31-23 after a 3-pointer by Douglas, Montgomery called a 30-second timeout. Randle is on the bench with his second foul. Nikola Knezevic is in — Cal’s 11th different player in the half.

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3:23 1st H: FSU leads 24-23 after a drive and charge by Jordan Wilkes. The Seminoles took their first lead since 4-2 when Toney Douglas made a 3-pointer for a 19-17 advantage with 6:22 left. Cal freshman D.J. Seeley tied the score again by making two FTs. Montgomery promised he would play more players early, and he’s doing that. Ten different Bears have seen action in the first half. Rebounds are even at 12. Turnovers even at 7.

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7:15 1st H: Jerome Randle returned with 9:39 left and finally scored his first points, converting an acrobatic drive through FSU’s big men off a feed from Omondi Amoke. Cal leads 17-13. The Bears, who entered the game shooting an NCAA-best 61 percent from 3-point range, are 0-for-4. But the Seminoles are shooting just 29 percent from the field and have six turnovers. Cal leads 12-11 in rebounding, and still has surrendered just two offensive boards to the taller Seminoles.

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11:38 1st H: The Bears got the lead to 12-6 but FSU has scored the past five points, including a 3-pointer by Uche Echefu that made it 12-11 with 11:51 left. Cal is shooting 50 percent, the Seminoles just 33 percent. Rebounds are even. Mike Montgomery replaced PG Jerome Randle with freshman Jorge Gutierrez at 12:41, no doubt hoping to keep him a bit fresher after 38 minutes on the floor Friday night.

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14:53 1st H: Cal’s lead is up to 10-4 and FSU coach Leonard Hamilton has just called timeout. Patrick Christropher has two baskets for the Bears, who have not allowed the Seminoles a second shot on any of their first nine possessions.

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15:51 1st H: Cal leads 6-4 at the first timeout. FSU is huge, but the Bears’ quickness has bothered them some early, the Seminoles coughing up three turnovers on their first eight possessions.

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LINEUPS: Cal is starting the same five players for the sixth straight game — Jerome Randle, Patrick Christopher, Theo Robertson, Jamal Boykin and Jordan Wilkes.

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RECORDS: Cal 5-0, Florida State 6-0.

Jeff Faraudo