The Cougars were coming off a thrilling home overtime victory 79-71 over UCLA while Cal lost its conference opener at Stanford 68-52. This was a very competitive, well played game in which Washington State had the lead for most of the first half, They capitalized by scoring 16 points off Cal’s turnovers and got into their transition game early. Cal’s 6-4 sophomore guard Matt Bradley carried his team to keep them within striking distance with his 14 first half points (6-9 FG), five rebounds and two assists. Cal regained the lead 32-31 late in the first half with 3:47 on the clock after 6-8 Andre Kelly was fouled on a made layup and converted the free throw. 6-0 senior speedy guard Paris Austin and Kelly made their presence felt late in the first half as Cal’s bench outscored WSU’s 17-9 to take a 40-34 halftime lead.
Cal led the entire second half and received solid play from 6-8 junior forward Grant Anticevich who made big shots and scored 12 points with two assists and three rebounds while making contributions on the interior/wing on both ends of the floor.
The Cougars’ 6-6 sophomore Forward CJ Ellenby a prospect for the 2020 NBA Draft, finished the game with 22 points (6-17 FG, 4-9 3FG, 6-8 FT) with nine rebounds. He displayed some flashes of why he may be ready for the next level. However there were times of indecisiveness. He does have a nice touch from 3-point range. WSU placed four players into double figures. 6-9 senior forward Jeff Pollard (11 points) was solid inside with some nice touch shots with the right hand from the post. 6-3 junior guard Isaac Bontos had 10 points and four assists while orchestrating the transition game well early in the first half. Smooth, athletic 6-5 freshman guard Noah Williams displayed he will be a talent to keep on the radar in the Pac-12 as he scored 16 points (5-8 FG) to go along with four rebounds and one block.
Bradley, a left-handed strongly built guard, finished the game with 26 points (10-14 FG), ten rebounds and four assists but committed five turnovers. He sealed the deal with a three pointer with 28 seconds remaining as the shot clock was running down to give Cal a 72-66 lead. A few seconds later he got a steal, was fouled and converted one of two free throws to push the lead to 73-66.
Cal (7-8, 1-1), hosts Washington (11-5, 1-2) on Saturday while Washington State (10-6, 1-2) travels to Stanford (13-2, 2-0) also on Saturday.
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