No. 22 Cal Clamps Down On Cougars
By GREG BEACHAM
BERKELEY, Calif. - Joe Shipp scored 20 points and Brian Wethers had 16 as 22nd-ranked California scored the final nine points for its 16th straight home victory, beating Washington State 63-53 Thursday night.
Amit Tamir scored 14 points as Cal (17-4, 10-2), off to its best start since 1960, won for the 11th time in 13 games. The Golden Bears never held a large lead, but they withstood a late Washington State rally and never trailed in a choppy victory over the Cougars (5-16, 0-12).
Washington State played tough defense and often slowed the action to a crawl in an attempt to stay with Cal, but the Golden Bears improved to 11-0 this season at Haas Pavilion despite their lowest scoring output of the season. It was Cal's best defensive game of the season as well.
Thomas Kelati had 12 points for the Cougars, who have lost eight straight in Berkeley.
Cedrick Hughey hit an open 3-pointer with 2:11 left to pull Washington State to 54-53, capping a 15-6 run in less than five minutes - but it was the Cougars' final basket of the night.
Tamir hit a 3-pointer with 1:40 left, and Wethers stole an inbounds pass, got an offensive rebound and hit two free throws with 36.2 seconds left. A.J. Diggs made another steal, and Shipp made two more free throws to seal it.
Shipp, the Pac-10's leading scorer with more than 21 points per game, had 13 by halftime. But he struggled along with his teammates in the second half: An 82-percent free-throw shooter, he went 5-for-10 from the line.
Shipp, Wethers and Tamir account for nearly 70 percent of the Bears' points this season, and the trio carried them again. Richard Midgley, a freshman backup point guard from England, had seven points, six rebounds and five assists.
Despite another strong performance following last weekend's narrow loss to
Arizona, the Cougars have lost 12 straight overall, all nine of their road
games this season, 18 straight Pac-10 games since last season and six in a row
Ezenwa Ukeagu had eight points and eight rebounds for the Cougars, who shot 41 percent and committed 17 turnovers.
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