San Diego 72

(6-4, 2-4 away)

California 67

(7-3, 5-2 home)

    10:30 PM ET, December 9, 2006

    Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, California

    1 2 T
    USD 34 3872
    CAL 37 3067

    San Diego 72, California 67

    BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) -- Brandon Johnson had no intention of taking over the game. It just sort of happened that way.

    He found himself open and took advantage.

    Johnson hit a short jumper in the lane with 19.8 second left and scored 15 of his 23 points in the second half, leading San Diego past California 72-67 in the championship game of the Golden Bear Classic on Saturday night.

    "I was just out there playing," Johnson said. "I wasn't trying to take over. We've been winning games with me dishing it out more. But it's more confidence when the shot clock's going down and (my shot) was going in."

    Ayinde Ubaka missed a 3-pointer from the top of the arc with under 10 seconds to play but finished with 15 points and seven assists for Cal, which made it a one-possession game after Ryan Anderson's 3 at 45.6 got the Bears to 68-67.

    Johnson scored nine straight points late, six in a row during another second-half stretch and shot 11-for-19 from the field in the Toreros' fourth consecutive win after a three-game skid. He was named MVP of the tournament. Gyno Pomare added 21 points and six rebounds.

    "A little bit of a statement game," Toreros coach Brad Holland said. "We'll definitely use this win to vault our team."

    San Diego (6-4) spoiled Cal's shot at its 10th title in the event's 14-year history after the Bears won in each of the past two years on their home floor. The Toreros also snapped the Bears' 12-game winning streak in non-conference games in Haas Pavilion that dated to the 2004-05 season.

    "I think that's my biggest win since I've been at USD," Johnson said.

    Anderson scored 10 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, Jerome Randle added 12 points and DeVon Hardin had 10 boards for Cal, which held a lengthy team meeting after the game to discuss what went wrong.

    Johnson scored six straight points to pull San Diego within 47-45 with 13:44 to play and the teams traded baskets for several minutes. Danny Brown's 3 with 10:10 remaining gave the Toreros a 55-53 edge -- their first lead since late in the opening half -- and was part of a key 10-0 run. Cal went 4½ minutes without scoring between baskets by Ubaka.

    The Bears (7-3), who faced a West Coast Conference opponent for the third time this season, failed to reach 70 points for first time in their last nine games.

    "As I told our team, it's not the loss. Losing is part of any competitive sport," Cal coach Ben Braun said. "I wanted our guys to focus in on some areas that go beyond losing a game. I had to take the moment to discuss that with our team.

    "There are days our performance might fall off. ... One thing we can't do is do things that beat ourselves. We have to focus in on controlling those things."

    Cal's last loss came to 20th-ranked Nevada by six points last Sunday in the Pete Newell Challenge. The Bears beat Chicago State 75-51 on Friday night to reach the title game.

    San Diego started 3-for-10 but Cal committed four turnovers in the first 4½ minutes and fell behind 7-2.

    But the Bears used an 11-3 run to end the first half, including Hardin's alley-oop dunk on a pass from Ubaka to beat the buzzer, for a 37-34 lead at the break. Cal shot 56 percent in the first half.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    2006-07 Season

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