With 59.8 seconds left in the game, the Cal men’s basketball team trailed UC Santa Barbara, 68-62, on Friday. But the Bears had possession of the ball and, with it, a chance to cut into the lead.
In a game in which Cal had never led by more than three and had trailed for the last 16 minutes, that possession looked to be the Bears’ final stand. Without a score, a comeback would be nearly impossible.
With those stakes on the line, a pass from Justin Cobbs bounced off David Kravish’s hands. Turnover.
Richard Solomon fouled UCSB’s Kyle Boswell with 31 seconds left. Boswell made two shots, widening the Gaucho lead to eight. With that, the game was all but over, and UCSB (4-3) would soon cruise to a 72-65 victory over the Bears (6-3).
The final minute of gameplay was a microcosm of the night as a whole for the Bears: missed opportunities.
Cal was lit up by a Gaucho team that shot 51 percent on the night. The Bears had no answer for Alan Williams, who recorded 21 points and 12 rebounds. Williams also added two steals and a block as the Gauchos claimed their fourth win of the season. The Bears, meanwhile, were losers in three of their last four.
With some of Cal’s usual shooters, such as Tyrone Wallace (two points) and Jabari Bird (four points), going cold, the Bears turned to an unusual backup to try to bail the team out: Jordan Mathews.
The freshman guard shot a career-high 22 points, shattering the previous mark of 12 he set against Syracuse.
But it wasn’t enough. Although the Bears were able to nearly erase a deficit that had grown to 11 points with just seven minutes left on the clock, in the end, the hole the team found itself in was too much to dig out of.
Contact Riley McAtee at [email protected]