Cal beats North Dakota State, 86-72, in Golden Bear Classic final
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP)—Ryan Anderson had 27 points and 12 rebounds and California avoided being upset in its own tournament by beating North Dakota State, 86-72, in the championship game of the Golden Bear Classic on Saturday night.
The Bears won the tournament despite getting out-hustled and out-muscled most of the night by the Bison. North Dakota State controlled the boards and scored half of their first 28 points off offensive rebounds but couldn’t sustain the effort underneath the basket down the stretch.
Jerome Randle added a career-high 26 points, including four 3-pointers, for Cal in the first-ever meeting between the two schools. It marks the 10th time in 15 years that the Bears (9-2) have won their own tournament.
North Dakota State led 53-50 with 12:10 left to play but managed only three baskets over the next 9 1/2 minutes, allowing Cal to pull away. The Bears scored 58 points in the second half after being held to a season-low 28 in the first half.
A night after beating Long Beach State 102-65, Cal had a much tougher time getting past North Dakota State (7-6). The Bears, who set a school record with 16 3-pointers against the 49ers, made 10 against the Bison but struggled to match North Dakota State’s work on the boards.
Cal had only been out-rebounded once this season, against Kansas State on Dec. 9. The Bears lost that game 82-75 because of their rebounding struggles and it almost cost them against the Bison. North Dakota State held a 40-36 edge on the boards but couldn’t parlay it into a win.
The Bears trailed 35-28 at halftime and didn’t get their offense clicking until midway through the second half. Freshman Harper Kamp provided the biggest spark with six straight points, twice scoring off offensive rebounds to help Cal take a 56-63 lead.
Kamp finished with eight points and six rebounds, significant numbers with center Devon Hardin—the Pac-10 leading rebounder going in—limited to six points and four rebounds.
Jamal Boykin’s 13-foot jumper with 9:42 remaining sparked a 13-2 run that blew the game open for the Bears. Randle, who was named the tournament’s most valuable player, made six free throws in the final two minutes to seal the win for Cal.
Despite dominating the Bears on rebounds in the first half, North Dakota State trailed 23-22 before going on a 13-5 run to close out the half. Nelson had four points during the stretch while Winkleman tipped in his own miss and made a 3-pointer for the Bison, who took a 35-28 lead into halftime.
Hardin didn’t get his first rebound until late in the second half and had only two points in the first half. He also sat out a long stretch while Bears’ coach Ben Braun tried numerous combination of players to shake his team out of its rebounding slump.
It had little effect and Cal went to the locker room amid a smattering of boos from the Haas Pavilion crowd after shooting just 32.1 percent in the first half while being outrebounded 24-14. The 28 points also matched the fewest scored in a half by the Bears this season.