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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
the Sooners held their nerve and made the necessary free throws
to put this game beyond the reach of their West Coast opponents.
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.
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.
now advance to the Sweet 16 and they will face the winners of
the Butler-Louisville game next Friday at the East Regionals in
Tournament Bracket: Download