December 5, 1998
OAKLAND - Senior guard Geno Carlisle scored 26 points, including six straight during a key second half run, to lead California to a 71-64 victory over Rhode Island Saturday at the Oakland Arena.
Cal, which improved to 4-1 on the year, led by one point at the half. The Bears came out after intermission and scored the first eight points to grab a 43-34 advantage with 16:15 left. Cal maintained at least a five-point lead until nine minutes remained when a Preston Murphy jumper brought Rhode Island to 52-49 with 8:38 to go.
Two minutes later, the Rams Luther Clay slammed home a dunk and suddenly the score was 54-53 in Cal's favor. That's when Carlisle took over. He scored on a pair of driving lay ups, then sank two free throws and the Bears were ahead, 60-63, with 3:39 left.
Cal had several opportunities to extend its lead, but the Bears were just 8-for-16 from the free throw line down the stretch. Carlisle, who entered the game as a 79.3 percent free throw shoot, made only 6-of-14 on the day.
However, Cal's defense effort proved to be the difference. The Bears limited URI (4-4) to 40.7 percent shooting in the second half after the Rams made 52 percent of their field goal shots in the first half.
"They battled us very tough, and we had to battle back," Cal head coach Ben Braun said. "Our team showed some character by taking the lead in the second half. We stayed with our game plan. I'm happy to see the adjustments that our team made, especially the forced turnovers in the second half."
In addition to Carlisle, Thomas Kilgore added 14 points, while Mike Gill had nine points and three steals.
Sophomore forward Lamar Odom scored 23 points and grabbed seven boards, but he was forced into committing seven turnovers.
Cal returns to action Monday when the Bears host Coppin State at 7:30 p.m.