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Cal Men’s Basketball Shocks San Diego State With 89-83 Win

Golden Bears top the Aztecs for the second time in three years

NCAA Basketball: Legends Classic
California guard Paris Austin scored 15 points including two from behind the arc Saturday night
Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

The California Golden Bears (3-5) went on an 18-5 run in the last four minutes to upset the San Diego State Aztecs (5-4), 89-83 Saturday night. With the much-needed win, the Golden Bears snapped a two-match losing streak — both, which came by double-digits.

Sophomore Justice Sueing led the Golden Bears with a season-high 23 points, including four from downtown. His most significant contribution, however, was his perfect record from the charity stripe. Sueing’s seven free throws enabled California to pull away from the Aztecs in the second half.

“[California] played a sensational offensive game. We knew they were a driving team, but we didn’t think they were this good shooting the ball. Statistically, they haven’t shot that well, but to their credit, they did tonight,” San Diego State Head Coach Brian Dutcher told the media in the post-game conference.

Five Golden Bears scored double digits. Paris Austin contributed 15 points while Darius McNeill and Grant Anticevich both scored 13. Freshman guard Matt Bradley added 11.

“I love the way our team played. To me, having 18 assists was the difference tonight. We got a chance to see what we’ve wanted the whole time. Our guys played together, and that was the difference in the win,” California Head Coach Wyking Jones beamed after the match.

Freshman Connor Vanover saw his first start and made a strong impression in Haas Pavilion. The California forward scored a three-pointer in the first possession of the match. He played only 12 minutes and ended the game with his contribution from behind the arc and one rebound.

San Diego State, known for their physical play, lived up to expectations from the scouting report. The Aztecs led in possessions, points in the paint and secured offensive rebounds early.

The Aztecs rallied in the second half aided by forward Jalen McDaniels’ 13 points and three defensive rebounds. The visitors enjoyed a lead for most of the second half as California led only in the final two minutes of regulation.

McDaniels ended the night with 20 points, six boards and a steal.

Saturday’s contest completes a three-game series between the two sides. Last year California upset San Diego State 63-62 away in Viejas Arena. The Golden Bears trail in all-time meetings 6-7.