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Women’s basketball: Bears ousted at Baylor

Outscored 41-23 in the second half, the Cal women (22-10) were eliminated from the NCAA tournament after a 75-56 loss to No. 2 seed Baylor (31-4) at Waco, Texas.

Afure Jemerigbe scored 17 points to lead the seventh-seeded Bears and Brittany Boyd had 15 points and seven assists.

All-America guard Odyssey Sims led Baylor with 27 points, eight rebounds, six assists and three steals.

Posted on Monday, March 24th, 2014
Under: NCAA Tournament, Women's basketball | No Comments »
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Basketball: Bears go for season sweep of Hogs

Cal (20-13) takes its second shot this season at Arkansas (22-11) in a second-round NIT game at Haas Pavilion.  Tipoff on Monday night is 8 p.m.

The game will be televised by ESPN2 (immediately following the Cal women vs. Baylor in the NCAA tournament).

The second-seeded Bears will play Wednesday in the NIT quarterfinals against the winner of Monday’s game between No. 1 SMU (24-9) and No. 5 LSU (20-13).  Cal will travel if the opponent is SMU but would be at home against LSU.

Against Arkansas, the Bears once more figure to be without senior forward Richard Solomon (11.0 ppg, 10.2 rpg), who sat out the Bears’ 77-64 win last Wednesday due to a concussion.

Cal beat the Razorbacks 85-77 at the Maui Invitational back on Nov. 25 in a game where Solomon suffered a scratched eye. He missed the final two games in Maui while recovering.

Senior point guard Justin Cobbs (15.7 ppg, 5.8 apg) has 518 career assists to rank fourth on Cal’s all-time list. He needs four to pass Kevin Johnson (1984-87) and seven to go by Jerome Randle (2007-10) and into second place on the career chart.

Posted on Sunday, March 23rd, 2014
Under: Basketball, Gameday | 11 Comments »
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Women’s basketball: Boyd’s shot lifts Bears

Brittany Boyd’s clutch runner with 14 seconds to play proved to be the game-winner, and Cal advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament with a 64-63 victory over Fordham at Waco, Texas, on Saturday.

The seventh-seeded Bears (22-9) take on No. 2 seed and host Baylor (30-4) on Monday.

Click here for whole the story.

Posted on Saturday, March 22nd, 2014
Under: NCAA Tournament, Women's basketball | 1 Comment »
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Women’s basketball: Bears feeling confident

The Cal women, seeded No. 7 in the Notre Dame regional of the NCAA tournament, take on Fordham in their opener Saturday at Waco, Texas.

Junior point guard Brittany Boyd said the Bears (21-9) are ready for the challenge ahead.

“A lot of people got more confident,” Boyd said. “We’re still learning, but I think since the beginning of the season we’ve made a humongous leap.”

The game tips off at 1 p.m. on ESPN2.

Click here to read staff writer Stephanie Hammon’s full story.

Posted on Saturday, March 22nd, 2014
Under: NCAA Tournament, Women's basketball | No Comments »
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Basketball: Even without ailing Solomon, Bears cruise to win over Utah Valley in NIT

Click here to read our game story.

Senior forward Richard Solomon, the Pac-12′s leading rebounder, sat out with a concussion, but Cal won its NIT opener, beating Utah Valley 77-64 in front of 1,862 fans at Haas Pavilion.

The second-seeded Bears (20-13) advance to a second-round game Monday against No. 3 seed Arkansas. Tipoff is 8 p.m. at Haas. Cal beat the Razorbacks 85-77 in the Maui Invitational back on Nov. 25.

Coach Mike Montgomery said he hopes Solomon can play Monday.

David Kravish had 14 points, 10 rebounds and equaled his career high with five blocked shots.

Justin Cobbs had 13 points and seven assists and freshman Jabari Bird, inserted into the starting lineup, responded with 11 points.

Freshman Jordan Mathews scored 13 off the bench and senior Jeff Powers had 10 points.

Holton Hunsaker scored 22 points for the Wolverines (20-12), regular-season champions of the Western Athletic Conference.

 

Posted on Wednesday, March 19th, 2014
Under: Basketball, Gameday | 10 Comments »
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Basketball: Who are the Utah Valley Wolverines?

A couple of words on the Utah Valley Wolverines (20-11), who visit Haas Pavilion on Wednesday night for an NIT opener against the No. 2 seeded Golden Bears (19-13). Tipoff is 7:30 p.m.

The team won the WAC regular-season title with a 13-3 record, then lost 74-69 to Idaho in the league tournament. As a result, according to NIT rules, the Wolverines were given an automatic bid to the NIT.

Utah Valley played two significant non-conference opponents, losing 93-40 at Oklahoma State and 69-54 at Oregon. The Wolverines also defeated two non-Division I foes.

The team is led by 6-foot senior PG Holton Hunsaker, the son of coach Dick Hunsaker, who averages 14.0 ppg and 4.2 apg. Ben Aird, a 6-9 senior center, averages 11.6 ppg and 8.3 rpg.

The Wolverines had an NCAA RPI rating of No. 144 this week. Cal is at No. 63.

NOTE: I am traveling to St. Louis today to cover the NCAA tournament and will not be at Haas tonight. We will have a writer at the game and I will link our story to BearTalk late tonight.

Posted on Wednesday, March 19th, 2014
Under: Basketball, Gameday | 6 Comments »
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Basketball: Cobbs settles for NIT, but Cal senior has assembled excellent senior season

UPDATED

This isn’t where Justin Cobbs wanted to be.

“Nobody wants to play in the NIT,” the Cal point guard said a couple weeks ago as the Golden Bears were pursuing an NCAA tournament bid.

But Cobbs and the Bears (19-13) find themselves in college basketball’s consolation tournament Wednesday night, taking on Utah Valley (21-11), regular-season champs of the Western Athletic Conference. Tipoff at Haas Pavilion is 7:30 p.m.

If Cobbs isn’t entirely satisfied by the final chapter of his senior season, he no longer harbors the doubts about his own game that followed him to Berkeley as a transfer from Minnesota in the fall of 2010.

“I just didn’t know if I was good enough,” said Cobbs, who averaged 2.1 points as a freshman with the Golden Gophers before jumping to Cal. “I put expectations on myself to at least go in and contribute, at least help the team in some way. I went in and really didn’t do anything.”

Cobbs has delivered for Cal, even while struggling at times to find a balance between his dual roles as scorer and floor leader.

Click here to read the rest of my story.

*****

Cal announced that (presuming a victory Wednesday) it would host a second-round game against Arkansas (a 91-71 first-round winner over Indiana State) either Sunday or Monday.

Posted on Tuesday, March 18th, 2014
Under: Basketball, Gameday | No Comments »
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Basketball: Bears face Utah Valley in NIT

It was no surprise that the Bears (19-13) were bypassed by the NCAA tournament selection committee Sunday.

Instead, they are a No. 2 seed in the NIT and will host a first-round game Wednesday against Utah Valley (20-11). Tipoff is 7:30 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPN3.

“You always keep your fingers crossed,” Cal coach Mike Montgomery said, when asked if he held out hope for an NCAA bid. “I think we were one win away from getting in, whether it be the Utah game at home or Colorado in the Pac-12 Tournament.

“I think it was that close. At the end of the day, when you look at it in retrospect, you feel like you really put yourself in a tough spot. We’ve got nobody to blame but ourselves. We had so many opportunities to make it a no-brainer, but we just weren’t able to do that.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Sunday, March 16th, 2014
Under: Basketball | 10 Comments »
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Basketball: Pac-12 tournament roundup

Here are semifinal results Friday from the Pac-12 tournament at the MGM Garden Arena in Las Vegas:

UCLA 84, STANFORD 59: This one was never close. The second-seeded Bruins (25-8) had leads of 9-2, 25-4 and 41-21 in the first half on the way to clinching a spot in Saturday’s title game. Kyle Anderson had 13 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, Norman Powell scored 22 points and Travis Wear made all eight of his shots to score 16.

Stanford (21-12), which essentially clinched its NCAA tournament bid with a win over Arizona State the night before, never threatened the Bruins. Dwight Powell scored 16 points and Chasson Randle had 11.

ARIZONA 63, COLORADO 43: The top-seeded Wildcats (30-3) pulled away in the second half to advance to Saturday’s championship game. Pac-12 Player of the Year Nick Johnson included a SportsCenter-worthy alley-oop dunk among his 16 points. T.J. McConnell had 12 points and five assists and Aaron Gordon filled the stat line with nine points, nine rebounds, three assists, three blocks and three steals.

Askia Booker scored 12 points and Xavier Johnson 11 for the Buffaloes (23-11), who shot just 22.7 percent in the second half and 29.4 percent for the game.

Posted on Friday, March 14th, 2014
Under: Basketball, Gameday, Pac-12 tournament | 23 Comments »
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Basketball: Pac-12 tournament updates

Here’s a game-by-game roundup of action at the Pac-12 tournament:

STANFORD 79, ARIZONA STATE 58: The Cardinal (21-11) played one of its best games in six seasons under coach Johnny Dawkins to rout No. 3 seed ASU (21-11) and advance to a semifinal matchup vs. UCLA. Chasson Randle scored 21 points, Dwight Powell had all 15 of his in the second half and Stanford outscored the Sun Devils 49-31 in the second half.

ASU star point guard Jahii Carson, who already has announced he will leave school for the NBA, was held scoreless in the first half and finished with 10 points. He’d averaged 28.8 ppg in five previous career games played in Las Vegas. Carson, center Jordan Bachynski and wing Jermaine Marshall combined to shoot just 7 for 26.

UCLA 82, OREGON 63: Jordan Adams scored 15 points, Zach LaVine and Travis Wear each had 14 and the second-seeded Bruins (24-8) snapped an eight-game win streak by the Ducks. Kyle Anderson contributed 11 points, eight rebounds and six assists for UCLA, which will face Stanford in a Friday semifinal.

The Bruins held just a 37-35 halftime lead, then erupted for 45 second-half points.

Joseph Young scored 29 for the Ducks (23-9), who shot just 8 for 26 from 3-point range.

ARIZONA 71, UTAH 39: It was not this close. The top-seeded Wildcats (29-3) led 34-13 at the half and continue to make a strong case they will be a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Pac-12 Player of the Year Nick Johnson scored a team-high 14 points in just 26 minutes, T.J. McConnell had 13 points and Aaron Gordon had 11 points and seven rebounds.

The Wildcats will face the winner of the Cal-Colorado game in Friday’s 6:06 p.m. semifinal.

No one scored in double digits for the Utes (21-11), who shot 12 for 47 (25.5 percent) for the game and had more turnovers (8) than baskets (5) in a  nightmarish first half.

Posted on Thursday, March 13th, 2014
Under: Basketball, Pac-12 tournament | 1 Comment »
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