9:00 PM ET, January 4, 2004
Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, California
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) -- For some reason, when Marcus Moore made his way into Haas Pavilion on Sunday he began reflecting on his team's road troubles over the last three years.Then he did something about it.Moore scored 12 of his 14 points in Washington State's impressive second half and the Cougars rallied to beat California 55-50 Sunday night and end a 22-game road losing streak in the Pac-10."This is big for me," Moore said. "I was thinking 'When are we going to start getting some wins on the road?' We wanted it."With Washington State leading 53-50, Cal called a timeout with 38 seconds left to set up a possible tying play, but Dominic McGuire shot an airball on an ugly 3-point attempt with 28 seconds left.Amit Tamir scored 16 points for the Golden Bears (5-6, 1-1), going 4-of-6 from 3-point range as Cal had its six-game winning streak against Washington State snapped.Moore, a 6-foot-6 senior guard, scored seven straight points in a 9-2 run in the second half, including a 3-pointer with 5:22 left that gave the Cougars (7-5, 1-1) a 49-48 lead. The Bears, who start three freshmen and a sophomore, then committed two straight turnovers and lacked poise down the stretch.Moore seemed to elevate his game after an NBA scout acknowledged him with a wave from press row at halftime."He took over the game," Tamir said. "He's really improved some aspects of the game and learned how to make his teammates better. ... They just came here to play."Washington State's Jeff Varem, a highly touted junior college transfer who only became eligible late last month, scored 11 points in the first half and had a powerful one-handed dunk seconds before halftime. The 6-6, 235-pound guard was averaging only two points in his first three games before his breakout effort off the bench Sunday. He finished with 15 points, five rebounds and two steals in 26 minutes.The Cougars, who lost 73-51 at No. 5 Stanford on Friday in their Pac-10 opener, played with more energy late in the game and made 10 of 12 free throws in winning their first conference road game since beating Arizona State 58-57 on Feb. 8, 2001.They also played great defense on Cal freshman star and leading scorer Leon Powe. He came in averaging 17 points and 10.2 rebounds.Powe, who called a players-only meeting last week to address team unity, often faced double teams and was held without a field goal (0-for-5) to finish with two points and eight rebounds."We were here last night and we only worked on two things, and one of them was the double team," Washington State coach Dick Bennett said. "We doubled him pretty much every time he touched it."Richard Midgley made consecutive 3-pointers during a 9-2 Cal run midway through the second half to put the Bears ahead 40-35, but they hit only four of their first 14 shots in the half.The game matched two of the conference's top three scoring defenses, but also the Pac-10's worst two scoring offenses.The Cougars began the game 7-of-12 from the field, then went cold and made only two of their next 11 to go into halftime tied at 29. The Bears shot an uncharacteristic 52.2 percent in the first half, but finished at 38.8 percent.While Cal coach Ben Braun is happy his team is focusing on playing together, he wants results as well."As I said to our team after the game, words sound good, but it's about actions," Braun said. "When our team takes action, we demonstrate effort and we take steps."
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