It took him three attempts to hit the game winner, but California's
English point guard Richard
Midgley didn't flinch when their NCAA
Tournament existence was on the line.
had two potential winning shots blocked late in regulation, including
one as time expired, drained the clutch three-pointer that gave
the Golden Bears a dramatic 76-74 overtime victory over NC State
in Oklahoma City last night.
had jumped out an early lead, scoring the first seven points of
the game, and their biggest lead of eight points (24-18) would
surely have been greater if not for some effective long-range
shooting from the Wolfpack, which ultimately restricted them to
a 39-36 half-time lead.
It was a Midgley
three-pointer which sparked a 7-0 run that would give Cal a 63-56
lead, with 5:48 remaining, but with the game seemingly Cal's to
win, the Pac-10 team came over all tentative and allowed the Wolfpack
to impose themselves down the stretch.
A 10-2 NC
State run gave them the momentum to take their first lead of the
game at 66-65 from a Julius Hodge slam dunk with 1:57 to go.
tied things up, when he split a pair of free throws with 1:34
remaining, for what would be the last score of regulation, as
neither side were able to take advantage of their opportunities,
and the game headed into overtime.
traded baskets early in the extra period, but when Brian Wethers
made only one of his free-throws, the Cal lead was just two points
at 73-71 and NC State called for a time-out with 22.0 seconds
left on the clock.
As the TV
coverage replayed NC State's famous Final Four victory shot from
20 years ago, it suddenly seemed the Wolfpack might be inspired
to emulate that with a Tournament win of their own.
hit the big three to give them a 74-73 advantage with just 12.8
seconds to go, only to see Cal go straight down the other end
with Joe Shipp and Midgley providing the game ending heroics and
handing NC State a heartbreaking loss.
saw Joe (Shipp) go to the bucket and he found me and I hit the
shot. I wasn't really worried about what happened earlier in the
game," said Midgley.
Joe got the board and took the whole team to the bucket. I spotted
up and it felt good when it came out of my hand."
Cal Head Coach
Ben Braun reflected on his side's hard fought victory.
a terrific college tournament game. NC State was a difficult team.
They did a great job spreading the floor and fighting for three's.
Joe Shipp certainly made a big play and he will be noticed for
all the points he scored today. That was a great play at the end
of a great game," he said.
of the game winning play, Braun said: "If another guy had
had the ball, we might have called a time out. You're not going
to get a better shot than with Joe (Shipp). He drew the defense
to him and found the open man. He had five assists today and only
one turnover. He has the ability to make the team better. He did
He also gave
credit to centre Gabriel Hughes, who hit a career high 14 points
for the Golden Bears.
may not score a lot, but i'm glad he's staying with it. His stats
won't always knock you ever. This was the culmination of what
he's worked hard for this year. He's really started coming on.
We don't beat NC State today without Gabriel Hughes," said
the scoring effort for Cal with a game-high 24 points, assisted
by Wethers and Midgley who had 11 points each. Josh Powell and
Marcus Melvin both made 17 points for NC State.
now face a Second Round match against Oklahoma, which presents
them with the double challenge of playing the top seeds of the
East Region bracket in their own backyard.
game will tip-off at 10.30pm (GMT) on Saturday and we will post
information about the TV schedule for NASN in our TV/Radio
Listings section, when it becomes available to us.
Tournament Bracket: Download