Bears crawl out of Seattle with win over Huskies

When the game was on the line Thursday night at Hec Edmundson Pavilion, California's super sophomore Amit Tamir put the Golden Bears squarely on his shoulders and simply wouldn't let his team lose. Tamir, the Bears 6-11 forward/center from Israel, scored 26 points on what proved to be quite a memorable shooting night to lead Cal to a 73-66 win over Washington, who dropped their third consecutive game since beating Southern California 12 days earlier.

Cal's big man finished 8-13 from the field, but those totals hardly gave justice to just how hot he was all game long. His 5-6 mark from beyond the three-point arc and a flawless 6-6 showing at the free throw line more accurately told the story.

"He's 6-11 so it's difficult to get to his shot because he shoots it so high," said Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar. "He got away from us a couple of times, and once he got his rhythm, a guy like that gets going, it is a tough cover."

Three other Bears finished in double-figures scoring: Joe Shipp (19), freshman Richard Midgley (12), and Brian Wethers (11).

Washington (6-8, 1-4 Pac-10) was led by the 15 points of Nate Robinson, coming on a night when the freshman hoisted up 18 shots and hit just six. Three of them, however, were from long range.

Doug Wrenn chipped in 13, and the Garfield High tandem of Anthony Washington and Will Conroy each added 10.

After the teams played to a 29-29 tie at halftime, the Huskies appeared to be gaining momentum midway through the second half when they went on an 11-3 run to break ahead for the first time since the game's opening minute, 44-41.

Seven points from Robinson keyed the Husky run, and brought the Hec Ed crowd of 6,869 to their feet.

A blown layin from Seattle-native Eric Bond of Cal had the Husky faithful roaring, and smelling blood.

On the Huskies next possession, though, the game's momentum shifted in what amounted to a single call by a referee.

Wrenn pulled down a rebound inside the paint, and, amongst a group of bodies, rose to shoot a 13-footer in traffic. What appeared to be a foul on Cal was instead ruled a charge on Wrenn.

The junior from O'Dea exploded, drew a technical foul, and ultimately sparked the Bears at a time when they needed it most. Cal promptly went on a 15-3 run to charge ahead 56-47, and the poor-shooting Huskies never again got closer than three.

Tamir scored 10 of the Bears' points on the run, including one of the most remarkable three-pointers in recent memory at Hec Ed - a fading shot over a leaping Wrenn with the shot clock nearing zero. It hit nothing but net.

"The last time I saw a big man do something like that, he was playing for the Celtics," said Romar, referring the Boston legend Larry Bird.

"There was a stretch where we had a lapse defensively. Tamir got going, we gave up a couple easy baskets, and they were out in front again. We couldn't convert offensively and that was probably the difference in the game."


Game Notes:
Up Next: Washington faces the second of the Pac-10's Northern California schools, Stanford, Saturday for an early afternoon game at 4 p.m. The game will be telecast live by Fox Sports Northwest. They continue play next Thursday at Oregon, and next Saturday at Oregon State. Both of those tipoffs are set for 7 p.m.

Tough as a Bear: With the win over the Huskies, Cal moves to 11-2 overall and 4-0 in the Pac-10. Their only losses on the season were against Georgia and Kansas, two legitimate top 20 teams.

Forget Paris: True freshman David Paris, son of former San Francisco 49er offensive lineman Bubba Paris, missed his two free throw attempts in the contest. The errant shots make his grand total 1-14 for the season.


Husky Stats:
Points: Robinson 15, Wrenn 13, Washington 10, Conroy 10, Allen 5, Jones 4, Jensen 4, Day 3, Massingale 2

Rebounds: Wrenn 10, Jones 8, Washington 4, Robinson 3, Conroy 2, Allen 2, Massingale 2, Jensen 2, Day 1

Assists: Conroy 7, Allen 4, Jensen 2, Jones 1, Massingale 1, Robinson 1, Day 1

Steals: Robinson 2, Wrenn 1, Conroy 1, Allen 1, Day 1

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