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Richard Midgley 
Richard Midgley and Cal lost 65-74 to Oklahoma in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday
(Photo: Cal Athletics)
California 65 Oklahoma 74
NCAA Tournament - Second Round

day 22 March 2003
Ford Center - Oklahoma City, CA (USA)

California's quest for NCAA Tournament glory, came to an end as Oklahoma put them to the sword by inflicting a 74-65 defeat in Oklahoma City on Saturday evening.

Playing against the top-seeded Sooners in front of their own fans was always going to be an added challenge, but the Golden Bears saw their opponents jump out to an early 15-4 lead, inspired by a nine quick points from freshman guard De'Angelo Alexander, and it was clear that a change of tactics was much needed.

Oklahoma were able to extend their lead to 15 points (29-14) before Cal's switch from man defence to zone helped slow the tempo, and were it not for Brian Wethers carrying the team with 12 first-half points (on 5-of-7 shooting), they would surely have gone into the break trailing by much more than the nine point defecit they faced at 33-24.

Once again, the Sooners shot out of the blocks, scoring the first nine points of the second period, six of which came from forward Kevin Bookout, another first-year student.

A 9-2 run from the Golden Bears helped stem the tide, but even when Sooners' guard Quannas White limped off court, they still trailed by 13 points (at 48-35) with 11:58 remaining.

Both sides traded baskets with Cal's only meaningful scoring coming from Wethers and Joe Shipp - both seniors playing for the right to extend their college career by at least one more game.

Back-to-back threes from Conor Famulener and Donte Smith triggered a 10-0 run for Cal, and when Shipp reduced the arrears to just eight points with 1:32 left, it briefly seemed that another dramatic finish could be on the cards.

However, the Sooners held their nerve and made the necessary free throws to put this game beyond the reach of their West Coast opponents.

Wethers finished on a career-high 27 points, with Shipp the only other Cal player in double figures, on 20 points. Bookout led the way for the Sooners with 22 points.

English point guard Richard Midgley had a quiet night offensively for the Golden Bears, and his efforts were primarily focused on helping to contain Oklahoma's Hollis Price, the Big 12 Conference Player of the Year, who scored just three points.

Oklahoma now advance to the Sweet 16 and they will face the winners of the Butler-Louisville game next Friday at the East Regionals in Albany, NY.

  Tournament Bracket: Download

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