February 27, 1999
OAKLAND - Senior Thomas Kilgore scored 24 points and fellow senior Geno Carlisle added 18, as California kept its NCAA Tournament hopes alive with a 78-73 come-from-behind victory over Arizona State at the Oakland Arena Saturday afternoon.
Sophomore Sean Lampley was also in double figures with 16 points and six rebounds for the Bears, who improved to 16-10, 7-9 Pac-10 with the victory. Arizona State, which was led by Eddie House's game-high 26 points, fell to 14-14, 6-10 Pac-10 with the loss.
ASU led for most of the first half, going up by as many as 14 points at 32-18. The two teams combined for 27 turnovers in the first half. Those miscues allowed Cal to get the deficit down to 38-30 at the break.
After intermission, the Bears forced two ties in the first 13 minutes, but were unable to take the lead until KIilgore scored 12 straight Cal points and Lampley added a pair of free throws during a 14-2 run for a 68-66 advantage with 1:15 to play. Cal, which had not led since the 15:25 mark of the first half, never trailed again, as the Bears went on to sink 10 consecutive shots from free throw line down the stretch, including four by Carlisle, who was a perfect 8-for-8 on the game, to seal the victory.
With the score 70-68, Cal's Carl Boyd was fouled while grabbing a defensive rebound with 22.7 seconds to go. He and ASU forward Mike Batiste became entangled and the two were ejected for a double flagrant foul. The Bears sent walk-on freshman Ryan Forehan-Kelly in to take Boyd's free throws, and he calmly sank both of them. Because of the double foul, Cal was able to keep possession of the ball and Carlisle hit two more foul shots for a 74-68 lead with 21.4 seconds left.
Attendance for the game was announce at 10,833, giving the Bears a school-record home attendance of 174,218 for the year and a record average of 10,889 per game.
Arizona State at California
California Head Coach Ben Braun:
"I felt we did a good job maintaining composure down the last run. I thought we out-lasted them through the end of the game. That was one of the best games played against us all year."
"It was great to see Ryan Kelly come in cold off the bench and come up so big for us. Those were big free throws. He made me look good. He's a guy who can come through for you. He just did what he does best."
"I really have to give Arizona State a lot of credit. They came out and played very well at the beginning of the game. We solved that problem in the second half by turning up the defensive pressure."
"We talked about having to go at their people. If you do that, you have a chance to build your offense from the inside out."
"We are very fortunate to get a win against this very talented team. These were huge homestand wins for us. These two teams have been tough on everybody they have played this season. I wish we could bring our fans up to Oregon with us."
Arizona State Head Coach Rob Evans:
"Once again, it is was the same story. We played well enough to win, but didn't come away with a victory. We're not a deep team, and we don't have a whole lot of margin for error, but I'm proud of the kids."
On the double-ejection: "I didn't get an explanation. They told me to get back to the bench, and the (ref) said 'we're shooting two free throws, it's their basketball, and we have two guys kicked out of the ball game.' I said tell me what happened, and he said, 'I've explained it to you. Get back to the bench.'"
"We weren't as sharp as we needed to be. We had 14 turnovers in the first half and that really cost us. We were shooting the basketball pretty well. We shot 50%, but that was 14 opportunities that we didn't get."