Cal Men Upset No. 7 Arizona, 89-76
February 25, 1999
OAKLAND - Geno Carlisle scored 21 points and Sean Lampley had his eighth double-double of the year with 20 points and 10 rebounds to lead California to a resounding 89-76 victory over No. 7 Arizona Thursday at the Oakland Arena.
Combined with wins over North Carolina and UCLA earlier this season, the Bears have now defeated three Top 10 teams on the year. Cal also broke a two-game losing streak to improve to 15-10 overall and 6-9 in the Pac-10. Arizona fell to 20-5 and 11-4.
The game started out in Arizona's favor as the Wildcats shot out to an early 10-point lead. But with Arizona ahead, 19-12, Lampley began to take things into his own hands. The 6-7 sophomore scored nine consecutive points for Cal to keep the Bears in the contest.
Cal finally tied the score at 30-30 on a Solomon Hughes tip-in. Then with the game tied again at 40-all, the Bears closed the half on a 12-0 run. Carlisle scored 10 of his points during the three-minute stretch. The final points came when Dennis Gates intercepted a pass with 3.9 seconds left and fed the ball to Carlisle, who nailed a three-pointer as the buzzer sounded.
In the second half, Cal improved its advantage to 18 points at 60-42. Arizona tried to make a comeback, but the Wildcats never got closer than 10 points. With the Bears up, 75-65, with 6:39 left, Carlisle hit a three-pointer, Thomas Kilgore had an 18-footer and Lampley made a layup for comfortable 82-65 lead with 2:53 on the clock.
For Carlisle, the 21 points (8-16 FG, 3-5 3P, 2-2 FT) represented his highest total in a Pac-10 game this year. Kilgore made all 10 of his free throws and finished with 16 points, while Mike Gill had 13 points.
California Head Coach Ben Braun:
"We are really happy. Our guys came here tonight and made some adjustments and did a very good job on Jason Terry. I thought we made the most of our opportunities."
"Geno Carlisle really gave us a presence on the court. They were defensively going to come after Geno and he really moved the ball around well in response. His confidence was a little shaky coming in. He didn't do anything this week but work, and he showed it. When you are stopping Jason Terry like we did, Geno's going to get his confidence. Defensively, he was doing a very good job on Jason."
"I thought Solomon Hughes gave a real presence and carved out his space down low."
"Out guys went toe-to-toe with them and fought a tough game. Dennis Gates is going to be a very important player in our program. We wouldn't win this game without guys like him coming off the bench and playing hard like he did."
"It would be huge for us to get a win on Saturday. We're really going to have to come to play."
"When you play hard for 40 minutes against a team like Arizona, that's a compliment to your team. I thought our guys have been in these situations before. You know what you can't do while protecting a lead. We played as veterans should play."
"Our fans are the greatest. They've been involved in every big win we've had this season. I hope our fans come out on Saturday for us like they did tonight."
Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson:
"We got off to a great start, so I think we were ready to play. But then, as happens so often to us, we jumped out and had a hard time sustaining it."
"We could not stop Geno Carlisle in the first half. He was knocking everything down, so we put Jason Terry on him in the second half, and he was able to stop the bleeding."
"It's frustrating, in terms of getting the young guys to understand the game is about defense. It's probably a natural process that needs to be there. But as you play longer, it's something that will take care of itself."