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Having seen star Matt Bradley transfer to San Diego State after last season, and then opening the 2021-22 campaign with a loss to UC San Diego, the California Golden Bears will try to exact revenge on a third San Diego school Monday night when they host the University of San Diego in a non-conference game in Berkeley, Calif.
The Bears (0-2) followed up an embarrassing 80-67 home loss to UC San Diego with a 55-52 defeat at UNLV on Saturday night, a game in which Cal pulled to within one with two minutes remaining before not scoring again.
Cal coach Mark Fox saw good and bad in the effort.
"I was really pleased with a lot of the things we did in the game, but obviously disappointed in the result," he said. "We had some great looks to win it. That's the final step for us: Learn how to close a game like this."
Grant Anticevich led Cal with 11 points and Jordan Shepherd added nine but couldn't add to his total with two late 3-pointers that could have flipped the outcome. The Charlotte transfer finished 3-for-17.
The Bears have faced San Diego (2-0) just three times in their series history, with the Toreros walking off the Cal court with a 72-67 victory in their last head-to-head in 2006. The other two meetings -- a pair of narrow Cal wins -- took place in 1981 and 1982.
Coming off a 3-11 season, San Diego has jumped out of the gate with a pair of wins, including 75-68 at Nevada on Friday night.
Terrell Brown-Soares terrorized Nevada defensively with seven blocks to go with 16 points and eight rebounds, while Jase Townsend went for 18 points for the Toreros, who led by as many as 19 points in the first half.
Brown-Soares had five of his blocks in the first 12:22 of the game.
"If he doesn't block a shot, he can certainly intimidate it," San Diego coach Sam Scholl said of Brown-Soares, a transfer from Pittsburgh. "He's very underrated offensively. He has an ability to score with his back to the basket; he's got great hands, a nice soft touch; and he's a great passer."
--Field Level Media