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Change of Habit for Cal : College basketball: Bears break seven-game losing streak at Harmon by beating USC, 95-74.

February 26, 1995|From Associated Press

BERKELEY — Enough was enough. It was time to break a bad habit, and who better to break it against than USC, itself habitually bad?

California ended its seven-game home losing streak Saturday when Jelani Gardner scored a career-high 23 points and Monty Buckley had 17 in a 95-74 victory over USC.

The Trojans lost their 11th in a row.

"The most encouraging thing is we won and we won at Harmon Gym. It took us a while but we got it," Cal Coach Todd Bozeman said. "It was good to see the guys have smiles on their faces and have fun playing."

Tremaine Fowlkes added 14 points, K.J Roberts 13 and Tony Gonzalez 12 for Cal, 13-10 overall and 5-9 in the Pacific 10, in its first conference victory at home this season.

Gardner also had 10 assists. The Golden Bears had five players score at least 10 points for only the second time this season.

The defeat extended USC's miseries.

"Each loss stabs at you a little bit harder," Trojan Coach Charlie Parker said.

"They say winning is a habit. Unfortunately, losing also is a habit, and maybe we're developing it.

"I think it's discouraging for all of us. It's an unfortunate situation, but we just have to keep our heads up and hope things will turn around."

USC had only 10 assists in the game to 25 overall for the Bears.

Jaha Wilson's 15 points and 10 rebounds led the Trojans (7-18, 2-13). Stais Boseman scored 13 and Cameron Murray 12.

"I think we were getting bothered by losing--period," Gardner said. "But it's kind of a terrible thing to lose all of your conference games at home. We wanted to change that today."

Gardner said Cal hasn't given up on an NCAA tournament invitation. It would be the Bears' third in a row.

"I think we still have hopes that if we win the last four games, we can still make it," he said.

Leading by nine points at halftime, Cal opened the second half with a 20-3 run.

A three-point basket by Roberts started the flurry, and Gardner's layup with 14:21 left put Cal up, 66-40. The Trojans were done.

"We seem to reach a point where things just don't click, and then we kind of hang our heads," Parker said.

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