Cal Bears basketball podcast with Morris Phillips: It’s unsettling as Cal can make you crazy in close game wins

Photo credit: @CalMBBall

On the Cal basketball podcast with Morris:

#1 Talk about that unsettled feeling after 48 hours even after getting a buzzer beater win past Cal Poly on Saturday night at Haas Pavilion 67-66.

#2 Cal head coach Wyking Jones said that the shots weren’t falling, but said that he’s happy with the team and that’s most important.

#3 Cal was able to wipe out a ten-point run against Cal Poly. The Mustangs were able to play catch up, and at one point, the game was tied 65-65.

#4 Donavon Fields had 26 points for Cal Poly and was one of the players that kept the Mustangs in the game.

#5 It’s off to Fresno for some Mountain West basketball on Wednesday night. Can the Bears win their third game in a row?

Morris Phillips is a beat writer for Cal Bears basketball at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Holiday Heart-Stopper: Austin’s game-winner carries Bears past Cal Poly, 67-66

By Morris Phillips

When you win, everybody feels great.

But when it requires a last-second, game-winner to avoid a distasteful measure of embarrassment, almost nobody feels great immediately, and some don’t feel settled for as many as 48 hours.

Paris Austin’s free-throw line jump shot with three seconds remaining delivered the first feeling without erasing the second, in the Cal Bears’ 67-66 win over Cal Poly.

“We are a really good shooting team and shots didn’t fall tonight,” coach Wyking Jones said. “I am very happy with my team, my young team finding a way to get a win. At the end of the day, that’s what’s most important. I see them growing, I don’t know if we win that game last year. Happy that Paris hit the shot, it gives him a lot of confidence. He’s been doing everything that we’ve asked of him.”

The Mustangs of San Luis Obispo and the Big West had done little of note in eight games coming in, but they mustered their biggest effort to date at Haas Pavilion on Saturday night.

After seeing Cal wipe out a second-half deficit with a 10-0 run, the Mustangs hitched their fortunes to Donovan Fields, who scored 26 points and put Cal Poly up 66-65 with 16 seconds remaining.

At that point, the Bears were experiencing a star-crossed, second half in which they shot 61 percent from the field, but saw their 57-52 lead wiped out by a Cal Poly 7-0 run that concluded with 3:22 remaining and the Mustangs up 62-60.

But somehow Cal would survive by subsisting on two made baskets over the final five minutes of the game, both from Austin in the final minute. Not the most satisfying way to beat an opponent picked seventh (of nine) in the Big West, but that conclusion played smaller once Austin confidently delivered the conclusion.

“I crossed (Crowe) over, he bit on the move and I pulled up and made the shot,” Austin said. “It felt good. I knew right away.”

The small guys, Austin and Fields, provided the game’s most focused play, as the Oakland native scored all 10 of his points after halftime. Fields, Cal Poly’s 5’10” point guard, led all scorers with 19 of his 26 points after the break.

Connor Vanover again started at center for the Bears, and scored seven points in the game’s initial minutes. But the seven-footer wouldn’t score again, and then departed early in the second half with a bloody nose and dizziness suffered in a battle for a loose ball.

Grant Anticevich, the effective frontcourt reserve in the win over San Diego State, missed both of his shot attempts in 18 minutes of floor time. Justice Sueing (15), Darius McNeill (10) and Matt Bradley (11) joined Austin in Cal’s balanced scoring.

The Bears travel to Fresno State on Wednesday to face the Bulldogs of the Mountain West. Game time at 7:00 pm PT.

Cal Bears basketball podcast with Michael Duca and Morris Phillips: Cal goes for second straight win at home Saturday vs. Cal Poly

247sports.com file photo: San Diego State Aztecs forward Jalen McDaniels (5) is boxed out by California Golden Bears forward Grant Anticevich (34) and forward Justice Sueing (10) during the second half at Viejas Arena

On the Cal Bears podcast with Michael and Morris:

The Cal Bears (3-5) Justice Sueing started off this season on fire but cooled off in recent week and then recovered on Saturday night against the San Diego State Aztecs (3-5) in a 89-83 win. Sueing led the Bears with 23 points Morris and Michael talk about Sueing’s turn around.

Sueing was a key factor in the Bears win over the Aztecs, Morris and Michael talk about once Sueing is lit up he stays fired up during a game. Speaking of fired up after the Bears were handed a drubbing by the USF Dons (8-1) in a 19 point loss last Wednesday on their own home floor the Bears came in fired up to get back in the win column.

Morris talks about Cal’s Grant Anticevich, Conor Vanover, and point guard Paris Austin and how these young players will be a huge contribution to the Bears offensive line up.

Catch Michael and Morris on the Cal Bears podcasts each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Cal Bears basketball podcast with Morris Phillips: Once lit up, Sueing can drain the threes; leads Cal with 23 in big win over San Diego State

vcstar.com photo: San Diego’s Jalen McDaniels, right, drives the ball against California’s Grant Anticevich (34) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018, in Berkeley, Calif.

On the Cal Bears basketball podcast with Morris:

#1 Justice Sueing started out the season on fire, but cooled off in recent weeks; but on Saturday night against San Diego State (3-5), Sueing led Cal (3-5) with 23 points. What’s been the big turnaround for Sueing?

#2 Sueing was instrumental in leading the Bears to a 89-83 win over San Diego State. Is he one of those players who once gets on fire stays lit up for a whole game?

#3 After getting stomped by the USF Dons (8-1) last Wednesday by 19 points. it looked like the Bears rallied around each other and really made things happen on Saturday.

#4 Cal’s Grant Anticevich, Conor Vanover, and point guard Paris Austin are playing more efficiently. How important were they in this win on Saturday night?

#5 Cal Poly (3-5) is next up to play at Haas Pavilion and the Bears hope to keep it going this Sunday the 16th with a 3 PM tipoff. Morris Phillips will have complete Cal basketball action.

Morris does the Cal Bears basketball podcasts each Monday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Nastic’s Career Day, 79-62 Win Over Cal Poly Wrap Up Cardinal Non-Conference Play

By Matthew Harrington

STANFORD, Calif. – Away from the lights of the Barclays Center, removed from name-brand universities Michigan, Pittsburgh or Connecticut on the opposite side of the marquee, the Stanford Cardinal quietly tuned up for conference play with a 79-62 win over Cal Poly (4-8) at Maples Pavilion Sunday afternoon. Stefan Nastic set a career-high with 20 points for Stanford (9-3) on the eve of Pac-12 play and a showdown with rival Cal.

“I was really happy with the win,” said Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins. “I thought it was against a quality team, a team that’s going to do well in league play. We’ll benefit from having that type of challenge as we go forward.”

Cal Poly forward Chris Eversley netted a game-high 25 points in defeat, while Nastic ended the night a flawless seven for seven from the field and six of six from the free throw line in 26 minutes of play to top his previous personal high of 14 points.

“We wanted to get the ball inside,” said Dawkins. “Stefan’s really done a good job of getting inside and anchoring our post position. We want to go inside to him when we can. He did a good job of really producing for us.”

Senior center John Gage, coming off the bench to rest Nastic, dropped a tidy eight points on Cal Poly on a pair of threes and a field goal in ten minutes of play. He was also perfect from the field.

“John is a really good counter to Stefan,” said Dawkins. “He’s a total opposite to Stefan at that position. One guy is really more a face-up guy who can shoot jumpers, the other guy is a dominant low post scorer, so I really do think they play off each other nicely.”

“It’s always good to have a player like John,” added Dawkins. “He’s a terrific teammate. He’s a senior. He’s battled a lot of injuries early in the season. He pretty much wore a cast the first seven, eight games this season. He took that off during the break we had before finals and he’s really found his stroke again. He’s starting to blossom. He’s playing with confidence.”

Nastic, Gage and Dwight Powell (all listed at over six foot ten inches tall in the media guide) used their height advantage to pick apart the Mustangs, whose tallest player Zach Gordon is a six-foot-eight forward. Powell came a pair of rebounds shy of a double-double and, with three blocks in the game, passed Brook Lopez for seventh all-time in school history with 103 rejections.

The Cardinal frontcourt trio man-handled their undersized opponents in the post, drawing the focus off guard Chasson Randle. Randle struggled in the first half, with only one field goal in four tries and six points before igniting in the second half to tie Nastic for the team-lead with 20 points.

Stanford never trailed in the contest, leading by as much as 16 points in the first half before Cal Poly guard Kyle Odister nailed a trey with less than ten seconds till the hallway point for a 33-20 Cardinal lead. Stanford held the visitors to nine baskets on 35 attempts, including limiting Eversley to only seven points.

The Cardinal continued to put the game out of reach after the intermission, picking up its largest lead of the night with a 24 point edge on an Anthony Brown free throw with 5:45 left to play. Cal Poly would chip away at the margin, forcing Dawkins to put some of his starters back on the court late to ensure the win.

“You have to play for forty minutes,” said Dawkins. “We subbed out late. We subbed out with six minutes to go. Those kids kept fighting and playing. We ended up subbing our guys back in, some of our starters. That says a lot about their group.”

With non-conference play wrapped up and the Cardinal looking at a 9-3 record including an upset over no. 10 Connecticut on the road, Dawkins and co. have an idea what to expect from their squad when they take on Cal January 2nd for Pac-12 play at Maples Pavilion.

“I think the teams we played have really helped us prepare for conference play,” said Dawkins. “Our conference, from top to bottom, is one of the best conferences in the nation. I think it’s been proven by how preseason has gone for all of our teams. I think the way we scheduled is reflective of what we thought our conference schedule would be like.”