With USC’s Chimezie Metu out for the first half, the Bears looked to establish themselves down low and get some points on the board, starting both Kingsley Okoroh and Marcus Lee. USC started the game with full court press and quickly moved to double on nearly every Cal ball handler. Despite scoring the games’ first points, Cal found themselves in a bit of a hole after 10 minutes of play. Cal found themselves again suffering through two separate 4+ minute scoring droughts and remained desperate for some offensive productivity. On the defense, USC managed to completely pick apart the Bears’ zone, managing to score 20 of their 41 points in the paint. The Bears began to pick up some momentum with some solid minutes from Roman Davis towards the end of the quarter though.
Coming out of the half Cal looked to carry that momentum, managing to halt the Trojans offensive barrage for a little over two minutes after the switch back to Man Defense. The Bears looked to have a lot more fight in them at the start of this half as they began to cut into USC’s lead. Unfortunately, that didn't last long, as the Trojans kept their 20+ point lead throughout the majority of the first 10 minutes of the half. It was pretty much all Bennie Boatwright and Nick Rakocevic for the Trojans, who put up 31 of SC’s 72 points after 15 minutes into the second half. As USC pushed their lead to 30, the bright spots for Cal were Justice Sueing and Juhwan Harris-Dyson, who both battled all night. Sueing scored 15 points, snagged 9 rebounds and 3 assists to go along with JHD’s 10 points on 3-4 shooting, with 4 rebounds and 3 assists. The Bears were able to get some garbage time shots off and make it a respectable 18 point loss.
Cal fans, What are your thoughts?