BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) -- A swollen left knee kept Leon Powe out
of California's first meeting with Arizona this season. Given
another shot at the Wildcats, Powe didn't waste the opportunity.
The freshman center had 21 points and 12 rebounds, and Amit
Tamir added a season-high 21 points -- including five 3-pointers --
to lead California to an 87-83 victory over No. 12 Arizona on
Powe is the Pac-10's leading rebounder, and he leads the Bears
in scoring. Without him in the lineup, they were routed 95-75 by
Arizona on Jan. 8.
"That was really tough on him, not being able to play Arizona
the first time," California coach Ben Braun said. "Leon was
really hungry and wanted it. Just in passing the ball out of
double-teams ... he had to make some good reads tonight. That
really helped our team. We ran a lot of our offense through him
Richard Midgley added 18 points, including a pair of free throws
with 19 seconds left to seal the victory for the Bears (10-9, 6-4
Pac-10), who snapped a 10-game losing streak to the Wildcats.
Andre Iguodala scored 25 points and grabbed eight rebounds for
Arizona (14-5, 6-4), which lost for the second time in eight days.
The Wildcats, who opened the season ranked No. 4 in the AP poll,
have lost three of their last six.
The Bears made a season-best 10 3-pointers, eight in the first
half to help build a 51-46 lead. But it was their free throw
shooting that proved most pivotal in the second half, when
California went nine minutes without a field goal and made only
three baskets over the final 16:57.
Despite shooting a conference-worst 39.1 percent from the foul
line heading into the game, the Bears never flinched down the
stretch, hitting 18 of 23 attempts in the second half after going
just 3-of-7 in the first half.
"We know who (California's) supposed bad free-throw shooters
are, but tonight they weren't," Wildcats coach Lute Olson said.
"We're just not a good defensive team, and it's hard for me to
understand that. We just aren't able to sustain it. When you're on
the road and you don't sustain things, you're going to have a tough
time. We can score points but we can't keep people from scoring."
Arizona, which leads the Pac-10 in scoring, was coming off its
lowest point total in more than three years, a 61-57 win over
Washington State on Jan. 31. The Wildcats easily surpassed that
mark against California but could never get a lead on the surging
Bears, who have won four of five.
California scored the first seven points of the game and led by
as many as 12. Powe hit a 16-foot baseline jumper to open a 29-17
Powe made his presence felt inside throughout the first half,
finishing with 12 points and eight rebounds while softening up
Arizona's defense for the Bears' perimeter shooting.
Midgley was the biggest beneficiary, connecting on all four of
his 3-point attempts. Midgley had 14 points in the first half, but
he wasn't the only California player shooting well from beyond the
Tamir had three of his five 3-pointers and the Bears were
8-of-14 overall, matching their season high for 3s in the first
"The cushion that we gave ourselves with the good start did a
lot for our confidence," Tamir said. "It showed how much heart we
have on this team."
Arizona, which had never lost in four previous trips to Haas
Pavilion, trailed throughout the first half but closed within three
with 15 seconds to play. Iguodala, who moments earlier silenced the
sold-out crowd with a soaring, one-handed dunk through the key,
sank a pair of free throws to cut California's lead to 49-46 before
Conor Famulener's short basket made it 51-46 at halftime.
Tamir made his first two 3-point attempts of the second half as
the Bears again took a 12-point lead before Arizona fought back.
But California did enough to hold off the Wildcats, who closed
within two twice in the final minute.
"That combination (Powe and Tamir) is difficult," Olson said,
"because one of them is so tough inside that you can't help
outside where the guy shoots the ball so well."
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