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Cal Bounces Back, Eeks Out a 72-66 Win Against UC Davis

Aggies sank 11 three-pointers, including eight in the second half

NCAA Basketball: Washington at California
Anticevich earned a double-double in the matchup against UC Davis.
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

After a disappointing trip to Madison Square Garden, the California Golden Bears (5-2, 0-0 Pac-12) were relieved to bounce back in a 72-66 victory against the UC Davis Aggies (2-6, 0-0 Big West). The Aggies, rated in the bottom-50 by Ken Pomeroy’s college basketball rankings, should have been put to bed easily by a Power Five team but kept the match competitive in the second half Tuesday night.

“Give UC Davis credit for making eight threes in the second half and storming back,” California Head Coach Mark Fox said in the post-game press conference.

Seven minutes into the second half, the Aggies went on a 13-0 run to overcome a double-digit deficit, which at one point was as high as 18 points. Aggies guard Stefan Gonzalez capped off the run when he connected from downtown with 9:07 remaining to give his side its first lead of the match at 49-48. Gonzalez scored 15 points on the night, all of which came from behind the arc.

Not to be outdone at home, California also continued its own hot streak of three-pointers, notching eight from 15 attempts, including a perfect three-for-three record from Grant Anticevich. Indeed, it was Anticevich that kept the Golden Bears in the game. His jumper with 6:55 remaining tied the match and ignited an 18-12 run by the Golden Bears to ice the game.

“We need to play a full 40 minutes. We’re getting better at that every game... and playing hard from start to finish,” Anticevich said of the close second half after the game. The junior forward from Australia earned a double-double finishing the night with 13 points and 11 rebounds.

Paris Austin scored 12 points, including seven in the last five minutes as a part of the eventual game-winning run. Kareem South and Matt Bradley added 14 and 19 points, respectively. Bradley’s night out is the sixth time in seven matches he has posted double-digits.