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Cal men overcome dreadful shooting to beat Santa Clara

Daily Planet Wire Services
Thursday November 22, 2001

Cal overcame a woeful shooting performance from three-point range and held on to beat Santa Clara, 67-60, Tuesday night in Haas Pavilion. With the win, the Bears are now 3-0 for the first time since 1995.  

Cal opened the game by missing its first 16 shots from behind the arc and finished the half just 3-for-20. It didn’t get any better after the break, as the Bears were only 1-for-10 dring the final 20 minutes to finish 4-for-32 (12.5 percent).  

“I really believe we can shoot the ball better,” Cal head coach Ben Braun said. “I thought some of the shots we missed were good looks, but a lot of the others were ill-advised.”  

However, Cal prevailed with another strong defensive effort and has held all three of its opponents this year to 60 points or less. Santa Clara (0-2) shot just 36.7 percent from the floor. The Bears out-rebounded the Broncos, 40-36, and blocked seven shots to SCU’s none.  

Still, five players scored in double figures, led by 13 from junior guard Shantay Legans and 12 each from Ryan Forehan-Kelly and Brian Wethers. Joe Shipp and Solomon Hughes chipped in with 11 points apiece.  

Santa Clara built an 8-4 lead five minutes into the game before Cal finally tied it at 10-10 at the 11:40 mark. The Bears trailed by as many as five points, but battled back to own a 34-31 edge at the half.  

“I really think Santa Clara was hungry in the beginning of the game and we weren’t until the second half,” Braun said. “That’s when we got our intensity back.”  

Cal came out of intermission on a 12-4 run to go up, 46-35, on a breakaway dunk by Dennis Gates. The lead ballooned to 16 on an 8-0 spurt, capped by another dunk by Wethers, and Cal led, 60-44, with 5:49 remaining in the contest.  

SCU cut its deficit to 60-54 with 1:07 left, but Wethers and Legans combined to make 7-of-8 free throws down the stretch.