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Lampley, Bears fall just short

By Tim Haran Daily Planet Correspondent
Monday March 12, 2001

It was very nearly a storybook ending. 

Every one of the 12,172 fans at Haas Pavilion Saturday night knew that following a Cal time out with 8.3 seconds remaining and a chance for the Bears to either tie or win the game, Cal’s all-time leading scorer would get the ball.  

In the final seconds of his last game in Berkeley, Sean Lampley did indeed get the ball. The senior forward who has carried Cal (20-10, 11-7 Pac-10) on his shoulders the entire season forced a 12-foot turnaround jumper as time expired.  

With the towering 7-foot-1 Loren Woods in his face, Lampley’s shot came up short and the No. 8 Arizona Wildcats escaped with a 78-76 win. 

“We just didn’t have enough time to finish the (last) play,” said an obviously dejected Lampley, who finished the game with 27 points, five rebounds and four assists. “I knew I short-armed it.” 

Cal played catch-up throughout much of the first half, trailing by as many as nine points, and was down 38-33 at the break. The Wildcats were led in the first half by Gilbert Arenas’ 13 points.  

The Bears kept Arizona’s star guard contained in the second half, allowing Arenas only five more points, but other Wildcats quickly rose up to fill the scoring void. Michael Wright scored 12 of his 20 points in the second half while center Woods caught fire and scored 15 of his team-high 22 points after the break. 

“Probably the thing that makes me the happiest is the kind of performance we got out of Loren Woods today,” said Arizona (23-7, 15-3) head coach Lute Olson. “He was much more aggressive and I felt like that’s been the missing link for us.” 

Less than five minutes into the second half, Cal fell behind 51-41 following a pair of free throws by Wright and a bucket by Woods. But then the Bears went on a tear, outscoring Arizona 10-0 in the next five minutes to tie the game. Following another Arizona run, a lob pass from Cal’s Shantay Legans that ended in a Lampley dunk with 7:10 remaining brought the Bears to within four points and whipped the sold-out crowd into a frenzy. 

A 3-pointer by Legans tied the game at 67-67 with just over three minutes to play. After that neither team led by more than two until Jason Gardner’s 3-pointer with 58 seconds left gave Arizona a 77-74 advantage.  

A pair of Lampley free throws with 39 seconds remaining brought the Bears to within a point of the Wildcats. Cal’s Ryan Forehan-Kelly fouled Arizona’s Eugene Edgerson as the shot clock was winding down, and Edgerson hit 1-of-2 from the line to give the Wildcats a two-point edge with just over 11 seconds on the clock.  

“That was an outstanding college basketball game,” Olson said. “In the end we hit the bucket and they missed the bucket.” 

And that was the difference. 

“It’s frustrating,” Cal head coach Ben Braun said. “If we could have had just one extra stop, one extra loose ball, one extra rebound, take one extra charge, the results may have been different.” 

Following the game Braun reluctantly talked about the final play.  

“I know Sean was disappointed that he didn’t get to knock down the last shot,” he said, quickly changing the subject. “But we are playing a team that’s one of the top teams around that is playing extremely well and they’re playing like that. I don’t know of anybody that’s come in here all year long and swept the games in the Bay Area (like Arizona did).”years.”