LOS ANGELES (AP) -- For a while, Leon Powe's one-man offensive
show didn't seem as if it was going to be enough for California.
Then came double overtime and Powe got help from his teammates.
Powe scored a career-high 41 points and Cal held off Oregon
91-87 Friday night to reach the Pac-10 tournament title game for
the first time.
The Golden Bears (20-9) will play No. 13 UCLA (26-6) in the
final Saturday, with an automatic NCAA tournament berth going to
"We're going to be a little fatigued, but I wouldn't trade that
at all," Cal coach Ben Braun said. "I'd rather be fatigued and in
that game than be well-rested and not be playing anywhere."
Cal's victory gave the Bears a 20-win season for the sixth time
in Braun's tenure -- more than any of his predecessors, including
the famed Pete Newell.
Ayinde Ubaka added 12 of his 17 points in both overtimes and
Theo Robertson finished with 18 points for third-seeded Cal, which
overcame a 16-point, first-half deficit and then rallied from seven
points down in the final 2:45 of regulation.
"All the hard work and dedication is paying off now," Powe
said. "We've just got to keep working hard and let everything take
care of itself."
Powe set a tournament record with his 41 points, topping the
mark of 39 by Arizona State's Ike Diogu against Stanford last year.
He had six points in the overtimes.
"They fought very hard and they made it very difficult for us.
But we're got some great warriors on this team," Powe said.
"Theo Robertson, man, I can't talk enough about that man. He's
a freshman, but he doesn't play like it. He plays like a senior.
That's what we've got on this team -- just a lot of people that know
how to get it done."
Oregon, which lost to Cal for the third time this season, upset
No. 12 Washington in Thursday's quarterfinals.
Cal scored the first seven points, including four by Powe, of
the second overtime to take an 80-73 lead. Lincoln rallied the
Ducks, scoring seven of their first nine points to make it 85-82
with 35 seconds left.
After Chamberlain Oguchi's jumper was short, Leunen grabbed the
rebound and fed Lincoln, who hit a 3-pointer to get the Ducks to
88-87 with 9.8 seconds left.
Lincoln fouled out seconds later, putting Ubaka on the line. He
made the first and missed the second for an 89-87 lead, giving Cal
possession. But Oguchi missed another jumper and Ubaka wound up
back on the line, making both to close out the late night thriller.
"Going into double overtime, we got a little leg weary,"
Oregon coach Ernie Kent said. "This is the third game for us and
In the first overtime, the Ducks took a 71-68 lead on Hairston's
3-pointer. But Richard Midgley was fouled on a 3-point attempt
reviewed by the referees, and he made all three to tie the game at
Kent labeled that call and others as "flat-out bad. I thought
there were some unbelievably tough calls against us."
Lincoln scored on Oregon's next possession with a thunderous
baseline dunk over DeVon Hardin that put the Ducks up by two.
Powe powered inside for the tying basket at 73-all with a minute
to play. Lincoln's jumper was short and Cal controlled the rebound
to force the second overtime.
Powe's offensive effort came a day after he had a career-high 20
rebounds in Cal's victory over Southern California. He was 14-of-17
from the floor and 13-of-18 from the line against Oregon to top his
previous career best of 32 points. He had six rebounds.
"Powe was a monster," Oguchi said. "How many did he finish
with -- 41? That speaks for itself. We had no answer for him. If we
could have at least held him to 20, we would have done our job. But
he went off on us and he won his team the game."
Neither team led by more than three points for much of the
second half. Cal took its first lead on Powe's inside basket five
minutes into the half.
Cal's Rod Benson dunked to tie the game for the third time at
49. That's when Oregon launched an 11-6 run, including five points
by Leunen, to take a 60-55 lead.
Leunen hit two free throws and Lincoln hit a jumper to push
Oregon's lead to 64-57.
Cal pulled within two on a basket by Powe and a 3-pointer by
Robertson with 1:12 left. Hairston was called for an offensive
foul, so his basket didn't count.
Powe got fouled on the other end and made both to tie the game
at 64 with 45 seconds remaining.
Lincoln dribbled around traffic and drove to the basket, scoring
on the right side for a 66-64 lead with 12.3 seconds left.
Ubaka answered for Cal on a leaning one-handed jumper to tie the
game at 66 with 2.2 seconds remaining. Lincoln's desperation jumper
hit the backboard as regulation expired.
Oregon went on a 32-16 run to start the game, hitting five
3-pointers and scoring 12 points off Cal's eight turnovers. The
Ducks eventually led by 16 points.
"We were in complete control of the game and we kind of shot
ourselves out of it in the first half," Kent said. "We just
needed to be a little bit smarter."
The Ducks played without starting point guard Aaron Brooks, who
served a one-game suspension after being ejected for elbowing Ryan
Appleby in the face in a quarterfinal upset of No. 13 Washington.
"Brooks makes a lot of plays that a lot of point guards in the
Pac-10 -- let alone the nation -- can't," Oguchi said. "Without
Aaron Brooks, it's kind of difficult to have that balance that
you're looking for."
Oregon starting point guard Jordan Kent, the coach's son,
injured his left ankle going after a rebound with 7:44 remaining.
He hobbled off to the locker room for an exam, but later returned.