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
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.
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.
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.
had struggled offensively, turning the ball over 10 times and USC
exposed them on defence too, picking up 12 offensive boards in 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.
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.
Braun introduced his bench soon afterwards, effectively signalling
that this game was destined to be beyond Cal's reach.
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.
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.
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.