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Cal Men's Basketball Fails to Upset Kansas State, Loses 54-63
Kansas State's late 8-0 run with 5 minutes remaining stems Cal's upset bid
The California Golden Bears (0-2) lost a hard-fought match against the Kansas State Wildcats (2-0) Friday night, losing 54-63.
But despite their best efforts, California trailed Kansas State for most of the game. The Golden Bears took the lead over the Wildcats only twice Friday night—both in the game's first seven minutes.
“We didn't respond well to it in the first half,” California head coach Mark Fox told reporters in the post-game press conference, referring to Kansas State’s play that left the Golden Bears trailing by 15 points at the half.
“We just dug too big of a hole in the first half,” Coach Fox said. “We’re playing a lot of young guys, and they made some errors.”
Indeed, California’s primary contributors were its juniors and seniors. The play from Devin Askew, the junior transfer guard from Texas and Kentucky, helped the Golden Bears stay competitive and nearly erase its deficit against the Wildcats.
Successful scores from downtown by Askew and senior Kuany Kuany contributed to a 13-point run at the start of the second half, which brought the Golden Bears within one at 46-47.
“Just to see everybody come together and cut the lead down and keep fighting, fighting—and no one giving up just fighting to the end—was very uplifting for us,” Kuany said after the game.
Kuany and Askew were the only Golden Bears to score in the double digits on Friday. Askew led the team with a game-high 17 points, five rebounds, one block and an assist, while Kuany ended the evening with 13 points, three rebounds and a steal.
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In contrast, Kansas State had three players score in the double digits.
Wildcats senior Markquis Nowell contributed 13 points, including a pivotal four-point play with about 5 minutes left in the game. Nowell scored a three-point shot in front of the Kansas State bench before getting knocked down. The resulting free throw gave his team a 51-46 lead.
The big play helped Kansas State mount the late 8-0 run, enough to leave Berkeley, Calif., with the victory.