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Bears fall to Texas in 2nd-round game

The Associated Press
Thursday November 16, 2000

AUSTIN, Texas – Maurice Evans scored 17 points and Chris Owens hit a turnaround jumper in the lane with 50 seconds left as Texas beat California 57-54 on Wednesday night in the second round of the Preseason NIT. 

The Longhorns (2-0) advanced to the semifinals next week in New York’s Madison Square Garden. Texas will play the winner of Friday night’s Duke-Villanova game. 

Evans’ short jumper with 1:49 to play tied it at 53, and Owens’ basket gave Texas the lead. 

California (1-1) had a chance to tie it again from the foul line but Sean Lampley hit just one of two free throws with 27 seconds left. Texas’ Chris McColpin, an 83-percent career free-throw shooter, then hit both ends of a 1-and-1 with 15 seconds left. 

Cal had one last chance to tie but Joe Shipp’s 3-point attempt over two defenders was well of the mark. 

Owens, who had a career-high 28 points in Texas’ 79-65 victory over Navy on Monday, finished with just nine points against the Golden Bears but made up for it on the defensive end. He had eight blocks, tying Texas’ single-game record set last season by Chris Mihm. 

The Longhorns also forced played tough defense on the floor, forcing 19 Cal turnovers. The Golden Bears committed just seven turnovers in an overtime win over Mississippi State on Monday. 

Ryan Forehan-Kelly led California with 13 points. 

Cal coach Ben Braun had complained that his team had to travel to Texas for the second round game after the Golden Bears drew about 3,000 more fans than Texas did in the Longhorns’ season opener. 

The Texas crowd was sparse again Wednesday night with just 6,459 in the 16,100-seat Frank Erwin Center. 

Cal raced to a 12-2 lead as the Longhorns struggle to find the basket with 1-of-12 shooting over the first six minutes. Evans broke the drought with a tip in and the Longhorns reeled off 10 straight points to tie it at 12. 

The teams played even the rest of the half, exchanging the lead 10 times before Cal took a 28-27 lead into halftime.