Photo credit: @Pac12Network
By: Ana Kieu
The California Golden Bears defended Haas Pavilion after a 80-66 win over the Hampton Pirates on Tuesday night. In case you didn’t know, Hampton men’s basketball is based in Hampton, Virginia (go look it up if you don’t believe me!).
Anyhow, it was a good win for the Bears, who showed the Cal students, alumni and fans that home is where the heart is. The Bears’ starting lineup consisted of Darius McNeill, Paris Austin, Justice Sueing, Matt Bradley and Andre Kelly.
The Bears pounced on the Pirates from the get-go. Paris Austin opened the scoring with the first basket of the game and Justice Sueing followed up by hitting two from the line. The Bears trailed by only one point at the time, but they overcame adversity and went on a 10-0 run–thanks to scores from Austin, McNeill and Connor Vanover–midway through the first half. The Bears brought a far-fetched 48-31 lead to the locker room at the end of the first half.
The Bears slightly cooled off in the second half. The Pirates outscored the Bears 35-32, but the game was pretty much out of reach for the visiting team.
At a media break, Hampton closed the lead 54-44, while Cal was unable to score in 3:06 (minus the fact that Kelly led the Bears with four points at the time. The Bears picked up the pace, which led to four Bears in double figures with under six minutes on the scoreboard. The Bears then went on a 7-0 run in the last 2:25 to close out the game on a high note. Also, note that Austin hit a three-pointer to extend the Bears’ lead back to double digits.
The Bears got a 80-66 win over the Pirates in their home opener. Austin led the Bears with 20 points and six assists in the victory. As a result, Austin earned the Opus Bank #12Best moment tonight.
The Bears’ nonconference schedule includes more than 18,000 miles of travel.
The bulk of Cal’s nonconference travel comes in a 20-day span between roundtrip travel to China (November 2 to 10) and Brooklyn, N.Y. (November 16 to 21). Other stops away from Haas Pavilion include Fresno, Calif. and a trip through the Caldecott Tunnel to face Saint Mary’s.
No other team in the nation will travel more during their nonconference slate than Cal.
The Bears return home to host the Detroit Titans on Thursday, November 15 at 7:00 pm PT on PACN.