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Richard Midgley
Cal's English point guard Richard Midgley hit 10 points in their 62-79 loss to USC Trojans on Friday night in the Pac-10 Tournament
(Photo: Cal Athletics)
California Golden Bears 62 USC Trojans 79
NCAA - Pac-10 Conference Tournament

day 14 March 2003
Staples Center - Los Angeles, CA (USA)

California missed an opportunity to take advantage of the departure of the seeds who had already tumbled out of the Pac-10 tournament, as they fell to a 62-79 defeat at the hands of the USC Trojans on Friday evening.

A sluggish start saw Cal trailing 18-6 with 10:17 left in the first half, but they sprung back into life with 9-0 run sparked by scores from English point guard Richard Midgley and Brian Wethers to pull close at 18-15.

The Trojans threatened to blow the game wide open, with a 15-2 burst extending their advantage to 16 points at 33-17, and they finished the period in control, taking a 39-27 lead into the break.

Midgley led Cal's scoring at the half, with 10 points including two 3-pointers, assisted by Israeli forward Amit Tamir on 8 points. Trojans' forward Desmon Farmer hit 13 first-half points to lead his side in scoring.

Cal had struggled offensively, turning the ball over 10 times and USC exposed them on defence too, picking up 12 offensive boards in the first period.

The Golden Bears really needed someone to step up in the second half to get them back into the game, and whilst Joe Shipp would provide the much-needed firepower for Cal with his second-half scoring, continued turnovers combined with the loss of Wethers to an achilles strain (Cal having been short already with their defensive specialist guard AJ Diggs failing to recover from an ankle injury from Thursday night's game), conspired to make this a mission impossible.

Seven straight points from Shipp reduced the USC lead to twelve at 52-40, but that would be as close as Cal would get, as the Trojans utilised their pressure play to extend to their biggest lead of 24 points, at 69-45 with 7:22 left in the game.

Ben Braun introduced his bench soon afterwards, effectively signalling that this game was destined to be beyond Cal's reach.

Shipp led the way for the Golden Bears with 19 points, with Tamir and Midgley providing support on 10 points each. Farmer hit a game-high 23 points for the Trojans.

Midgley, from Burgess Hill in West Sussex, had hit a team-high 12 points for Cal in their 69-46 victory over Oregon State, on Thursday night - with all scores coming from outside the arc (4 from 7 total on 3pt shooting), coming on the back of his selection as a member of the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team for the season.

As the Trojans now advance to face Oregon in the Pac-10 Championship game, the Golden Bears will now await Selection Sunday and the announcement of the NCAA Tournament invites, which will be shown live on NASN this Sunday evening (16th March) at 10pm.

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