Nov 16, 2001
BERKELEY - With one of its best defensive efforts in more than 50 years, Cal captured the BCA Classic with a 56-27 victory over Eastern Washington Friday night in Haas Pavilion.
The 27 points allowed marked the lowest by a Cal opponent since the Bears beat San Francisco State, 52-23, in 1946. Cal also surrendered just 10 points in the first half, the fewest surrendered by a Golden Bear team since Cal led Oregon State, 37-10, at the break in March 1994.
Freshman forward Jamal Sampson earned tournament MVP honors with a dominating performance in the paint. He finished with 10 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks. Junior forward Joe Shipp also earned a spot on the all-tournament team with seven points, five rebounds and three blocks.
In a physical contest from buzzer to buzzer, neither team could score much early on. In fact, the score was tied at 4-4 more than six minutes into the game. However, Cal went on an 8-0 run to go ahead 12-4 and never looked back. The Bears increased their lead to 20-6 and didn't allow Eastern Washington into double figures until 1:06 remained before halftime. Cal led, 27-10, at intermission.
In the second half, the Bears pushed their advantage to 25 points at 35-10 and led by as many as 31 (56-25) with 38 seconds remaining.
For the game, EWU shot just 23.3 percent from the floor and did not make a three-pointer, missing all 12 of its attempts. The Bears also owned a 44-27 advantage on the boards.
California Head Coach Ben Braun postgame quotes
"If you watched that team last night, they weren't that bad against St. Joseph's. I think we had some of their tendencies down defensively. In 48 hours our players have seen just about everything that we're going to see."
"This Eastern Washington team plays so hard and will be one of the most physical teams we play."
"Holding Princeton and Eastern Washington down like we did was just great defense."
"If they gave an MVP for defensive effort tonight it would definitely go to Solomon Hughes. He was everywhere on the floor tonight."