Cal men's basketball beats Colorado, 68-61, in nail-biter for fifth-straight straight win

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FEBRUARY 13, 2015

Winners of three straight games on late game winners, the Cal men’s basketball team returned to more traditional methods Thursday night, notching a nail-biting 68-61 win over Colorado at the Coors Event Center.

The Bears headed to Boulder hoping to continue their four-game win streak and looking to prove that their January swoon was no more. Cal, which has won its last three games prior to Thursday by a combined five points, has now won its past five games, three of which came on the road.

Both teams struggled in the early minutes of the game, with Cal and Colorado shooting 35 percent and 28 percent, respectively, with just under seven minutes remaining in the first half. The Bears entered halftime with a narrow 28-27 lead, led by junior guard Tyrone Wallace’s seven points. The teams finished the half neck and neck in several categories, with both teams turning the ball over seven times and Cal finishing with five steals to the Buffaloes’ four. Colorado, however, held the edge in second-chance points, with six, and bench points, with 10.

Though the Buffaloes opened the second half with a layup from guard Askia Booker to take the lead, Cal responded with two back-to-back 3-pointers from sophomore guard Jordan Mathews to reclaim the lead. Mathews, who finished the night with a game-high 19 points, made four treys and scored 14 of his points in the second half. The Bears built a 10-point lead on a layup from senior forward David Kravish with just more than 13 minutes left in the game, but Cal soon found Colorado nipping at its heels. The Buffaloes hurriedly began a 7-0 run over 1:31 to trim the Bears’ lead to just four.

A long 3-pointer on the left wing from Booker with 1:43 to play, followed by a missed three from sophomore guard Sam Singer, quickly put the Bears’ victory in doubt — that is, until a jumper from Wallace stopped the bleeding and two made free throws from Kravish gave Cal a six-point lead with 14 seconds left.

Cal likely would have been able to put the game away earlier but was hindered by its lack of second-chance points — four to the Buffaloes’ 18 — and limited contributions from the bench. The Bears only saw seven points from their reserves, while Colorado’s bench scored 19.

The Buffaloes were kept in the game almost singlehandedly by junior forward Josh Scott, who finished the night with 17 points and eight rebounds.

Cal also suffered from early and chronic foul trouble, with center Kingsley Okoroh fouling out, forcing the Bears to go small in the closing minutes of the game. Singer and Kravish also finished with four fouls apiece.

Along with Mathews, the Bears were led by Wallace, who ended the night with 16 points and was 5 of 6 from the charity stripe. Kravish also scored 14 points and grabbed seven boards. Singer added seven points and six assists.

Cal continued its penchant for shooting threes in the game against the Buffaloes, racking up 22 compared to Colorado’s 10. Graduate transfer forward Dwight Tarwater — who played hero for the Bears against UCLA — scored only nine points Thursday night, but all came from threes.

Contact Michelle Lee at 


FEBRUARY 13, 2015

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