Sticking with the same starting 5 as the last few games, Cal came out of the gates looking ready to go. Marcus Lee started the game by asserting his presence in the post. Coming off a rough game, Don Coleman quickly got off to a good start shooting 2-2 with 5 points after the first 5 minutes. After going up 12-7, UCA fought their way back and had the game tied 12-12 with 12:17 left in the half. Despite out-rebounding UCA, Cal found themselves once again playing from behind as Arkansas took a 1 point lead at the 11-minute mark. And with 8:51 left in the half Cal found themselves down 6, only shooting 33% from the field. Cal looked directionless and stagnate. Between ill-advised passes and generally lackadaisical play, it looked like this might become Chaminade part 2. After scoring 12 points in the first 5 minutes, Cal struggled offensively to get anything going. In 10 minutes Cal only scored 6 points. It took Kingsley Okoroh to stop the 3:42/8 attempt scoring drought. To put it nicely, this was ugly and hard to watch. It wasn’t that UCA was beating us, we were beating ourselves. Shooting under 30% isn’t going to win games. Going into the half Cal was down 20 points.
With the starting 5 (Nick Hamilton in for Juhwan Harris-Dyson), Cal looked to make up the 20 point deficit and abysmal play leftover from the first half. Coleman clearly looked energized by the break, coming out and immediately scoring 4 points. On the defensive side, Cal switched to full court press and 2-2-1 zone. Not even 3 minutes into the half Hamilton picked up his 4th foul, and 2nd team foul. In their first 6 possessions of the half, Cal turned the ball over 3 times. It seemed for every step forward we made, we immediately took three steps backward. Cal looked like they were the Washington Generals playing the Harlem Globetrotters. Trying to mix it up, Okoroh checked back in to play alongside Lee, leading to Cal’s first decent looking defensive sequence in a while. And with 9:35 to go UCA was up by 35 points, while Cal’s horrific shooting night continued. With 7:49 to go, Cal, had only taken total 14 FG attempts; UCA had made 17 and taken 30, including 4-8 from 3-point land. Ultimately Cal could never get anything going and it cost them the game.
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