Nov. 15, 2001
BERKELEY - Four players scored in double figures, led by 15 points from junior forward Joe Shipp, as California opened the 2001-02 basketball season with a 70-58 victory over Princeton in the first round of the BCA Classic Thursday night in Haas Pavilion.
The Bears now advance to play Eastern Washington, an upset winner over No. 10 Saint Joseph's, for the championship Friday at 8:30 p.m. St. Joe's meets Princeton in the consolation game at 6 p.m.
Cal and Princeton battled back and forth early in the game. But with the Tigers ahead 11-10, the Bears scored eight consecutive points to open a 17-11 advantage. The lead ballooned to 32-16 at the 6:05 mark and Cal entered the locker room up, 44-28, on Shantay Legans' 35-foot shot at the buzzer.
In the second half, Cal pushed its lead to 20 points at 51-31 and kept the margin above 15 points until the closing minutes. The Bears' largest lead was 64-41 with 6:48 left.
Cal remained patient with Princeton's deliberate style and capitalized on strong shooting, especially from the outside. The Bears made 7-of-13 shots from three-point range in the first half and shot 51.9 from the field for the game.
In addition to Shipp, who also had four rebounds and four assists, Ryan Forehan-Kelly and Dennis Gates came off the bench for 11 points apiece and freshman Jamal Sampson finished with 10 points and five rebounds.
Konrod Wysocki paced Princeton with 17 points.
In the first game of the tournament, Eastern Washington edged St. Joe's, 68-67. The Eagles led, 35-34 at the half. They built a 65-58 lead with 1:20 to go. St. Joe's had a chance to send the game into overtime, but Delonte West missed the second of two free throws with three seconds remaining.
California Head Coach Ben Braun Postgame Quotes
"I don't think that the average fan knows how much preparation went into this game. Princeton is a very smart team. You'll see that team when a lot of basketball games this year."
"We hit some big shots in the first half. In the second half, when we went up by 20, I thought we did a great job controlling the tempo."
"I was impressed with our assists, getting 17 assists against a team like Princeton. Our guys did a great job with that tonight. I thought our guys did a good job on the offensive glass too."