California's bid for an upset of Pac-12-leading UCLA came up just short Thursday night at home, as the No. 24 Bruins edged the Golden Bears 61-57.
Cody Riley scored 13 points and Jules Bernard added 11 for the Bruins (12-2), including a key 3-pointer late in the game. UCLA, held 17 points under their average points per game, remained undefeated in the conference at 8-0.
Johnny Juzang made two free throws with 8.9 seconds to play to seal UCLA's win, the seventh in a row for the Bruins.
Cal made it difficult for all 40 minutes, the game played at their slower tempo with the Bears making 10 3s to four for the Bruins. Grant Anticevich scored 21 points and hit all five of his 3-pointers for Cal (7-9, 2-7).
The Bruins led by as many as six points early in the first half, but Cal refused to go away. A steal and dunk from Jaime Jaquez Jr. made it 20-18 Bruins with 9:51 to go. Jaquez landed hard on his back but bounced back up.
After UCLA led 22-18, the Bears went on a 10-2 run and never trailed the rest of the half. A Jalen Celestine 3 gave Cal a 36-30 lead with 26 seconds left, his only points of the half, then Riley scored with a second left for UCLA to trail by four at halftime.
The difference in the first half for Cal was 7 of 12 3-point shooting, compared to just 2 of 6 for the conference leaders in that category, UCLA. Anticevich had 11 first-half points.
The Bruins surged ahead by five with a 7-0 run early in the second half, but Cal turned a 50-45 deficit into a 55-54 lead with four minutes to play on another Anticevich 3.
Bernard hit a 3 with 2:08 left, giving the Bruins a 59-55 lead, but Jarred Hyder made a layup to make it a two-point game with 13 seconds left before UCLA closed out the game at the foul line.
--Field Level Media