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Basketball: Bears go for season sweep of Hogs

By Jeff Faraudo
Sunday, March 23rd, 2014 at 9:43 pm in Basketball, Gameday

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.

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Women’s basketball: Bears take on Sims, Baylor

By Jeff Faraudo
Sunday, March 23rd, 2014 at 9:15 pm in Women's basketball

The seventh-seeded Cal women (22-9) take the next, difficult step in the NCAA tournament when they face No. 2 Baylor (30-4) on Monday night at the Farrell Center in Waco, Texas.

The game tips off at 6 p.m. PT and will be aired on ESPN2.

Baylor, playing on its home floor, features explosive senior guard Odyssey Sims, who averages 28.5 points per game. She will pose a serious challenge to Cal junior guard and fellow Nancy Lieberman Award finalist Brittany Boyd.

Sims has posted 13 games of 30 points or more, including performances of 40, 44 and 48 points this season. She shoots 41 percent from the 3-point arc.

And Sims has help. Freshman forward Nina Davis averages 15.1 points and 9.0 rebounds and had 32 in the Bears’ 87-74 NCAA opening win over Western Kentucky.

Cal advanced by edging Fordham 64-63 on Saturday when Boyd hit a runner with 14.6 seconds left. Boyd averages 14.7 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 2.9 steals.

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Softball: Cal pitcher Trzcinski hurls no-hitter

By Jeff Faraudo
Sunday, March 23rd, 2014 at 8:58 pm in Softball

Stephanie Trzcinski struck out eight, walked just two and threw a six-inning no-hitter as Cal beat Princeton 9-0 on Sunday at the Marriott Round Robin in Santa Clara.

Cheyenne Cordes slugged a grand slam and freshman Kylie Reed was 4-for-4 for the Bears, who improved to 16-11.

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Women’s basketball: Boyd’s shot lifts Bears

By Jeff Faraudo
Saturday, March 22nd, 2014 at 8:17 pm in NCAA Tournament, Women's basketball

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.

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Women’s basketball: Bears feeling confident

By Jeff Faraudo
Saturday, March 22nd, 2014 at 9:30 am in NCAA Tournament, Women's basketball

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.

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Swimming: Missy Franklin sets records

By Jeff Faraudo
Friday, March 21st, 2014 at 10:04 pm in Swimming

Cal freshman and Olympic star Missy Franklin won the 200-yard freestyle at the NCAA women’s swimming championships at Minneapolis, breaking NCAA, American and U.S. records.

Franklin touched in 1 minute, 40.31 seconds.

Later, Franklin and her 800 free relay teammates prevailed in 6:54.94.

The Cal women are in third place after two days of competition.

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Football: No charges filed in player altercation

By Jeff Faraudo
Friday, March 21st, 2014 at 8:52 am in Football

Here’s our story, courtesy of the Santa Cruz Sentinel, on the Alameda County district attorney’s decision not to file criminal charges against the unidentified Cal football player who injured walk-on Fabiano Hale in a Nov. 1 locker room altercation.

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Basketball: Even without ailing Solomon, Bears cruise to win over Utah Valley in NIT

By Jeff Faraudo
Wednesday, March 19th, 2014 at 11:45 pm in Basketball, Gameday

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.

 

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Basketball: Who are the Utah Valley Wolverines?

By Jeff Faraudo
Wednesday, March 19th, 2014 at 11:58 am in Basketball, Gameday

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.

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Women’s basketball: Boyd a Lieberman finalist

By Jeff Faraudo
Wednesday, March 19th, 2014 at 11:37 am in Honors, Women's basketball

Cal junior Brittany Boyd is one of five finalists for the 2014 Nancy Lieberman Award, the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame announced. The award goes to the nation’s top point guard.

Boyd, who also has been a candidate for the Wade Tropy, Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy this season, averages 14.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 2.9 steals for the Golden Bears.

She was a first-team All-Pac-12 selection and a Pac-12 All-Defensive team pick. Boyd leads the conference in steals and assists.

In her most recent game, against Washington State, she had 13 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists.

Other finalists for the Lieberman award are Odyssey Sims of Baylor, Jerica Coley of Florida International, Moriah Jefferson of UConn and Heather Butler and Tennessee-Martin.

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