Bears Grind Out a Win over the Lobos

Everytime Bear fans hear the name Senque Carey they groan and are instantly reminded by Carey's last second three point shot which led his then Washington team to 54-52 win at Harmon Arena early in 2000. He's the player who seems like he's been around forever and opposing fans always ask, "Didn't he graduate last year?" Fortunately, this was Carey's last game versus the Golden Bears and with a victory Bear fans could put to rest the memory of the last second defeat at the hands of Senque.

The Bears started slowly and had a difficult time on both ends of the court. New Mexico created several second chance opportunities with excellent offensive rebounding. Cal on the other hand could not seem to establish a flow or rhythm to their offensive mightily in its halfcourt sets. However, despite its difficulties Cal trailed by only one point at the half, 30-29.

As the second half started New Mexico once again took control and began to build a small lead at 35-29. From that point on it was all Cal as the Bears put together a 20-2 run and brokeout to a 49-37. From that point on the Bears hung on and emerged with 71-62 victory over the Lobos.

Key in the victory were the performances of Dennis Gates and Solomon Hughes who scored 16 and 17 points respectively. Gates provided the outside threat while Solomon wrecked havoc inside on both the offensive end and the defensive end (3 blocks). Once again freshman Jamal Sampson was a key on the defensive end blocking three shots and altering many others.

The 71-62 victory leaves the Bears at 4-0 with their first road test against the University of South Florida, who is led by super seniors, B.B. Waldon and Altron Jackson and coached by Seth Greenberg. This is a key match-up for the Bears who have been tested by fundamentally sound Princeton and backcourt savvy New Mexico team, but have not run into a team with the caliber of interior athleticism like South Florida, in Waldon and Jackson.

While on the surface this match-up may not have the national appeal of other more highly publicized match-ups it is a game which will carry large weight in March for the NCAA committee in the selection process.


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