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California May Not Name 'NCAA Here We Come' Tune

PACIFIC 10 ROUNDUP

March 10, 1996

California, which has played with its back to the NCAA tournament wall for most of an erratic Pacific 10 season, couldn't deliver a knockout when it needed to against No. 11 Arizona Saturday at Tucson.

The Golden Bears blew an 11-point late in the second half, missing four free throws in one-and-one situations in the final 3 1/2 minutes of a 71-68 loss. As a result, they might miss the NCAA tournament.

Cal is 17-10 overall, 11-7 in the Pacific 10 and 2-5 against nationally ranked teams--records that may not be good enough to receive an NCAA at-large bid. Arizona (24-6, 13-5 and 4-4 against nationally ranked teams) figures to receive a high regional seeding. The tournament field will be announced today.

"It was a disappointing loss considering we had a chance to win the whole way through," said Cal Coach Todd Bozeman, whose team's NCAA hopes were damaged in a loss at Arizona State Thursday. "It was important to execute and a couple times at the end, we didn't. But if we make our free throws, we're not even in that situation."

Arizona went on a 14-3 run in the final six minutes, with Corey Williams putting the Wildcats ahead to stay, 67-65, on a tip-in with 33 seconds left.

Twenty seconds later, Michael Dickerson made a steal, was fouled and made two free throws to give Arizona a 69-65 lead.

Randy Duck responded with a three-point basket for Cal with 6.8 seconds but Miles Simon countered with two free throws at 5.7 seconds.

Cal's Jelani Gardner then lofted a three-point shot that fell short at the buzzer.

Cal freshman Shareef Abdur-Rahim had nine points on four-for-nine shooting and seven rebounds.

Stanford 67, Arizona State 53--Forward Andy Poppink had 24 points, including seven in a late 15-0 run that allowed the Cardinal (19-8, 12-6) to pull away at Tempe, Ariz.

Arizona State (11-16, 6-12) had defeated Stanford on its home court the last six meetings.

Ron Riley, the Sun Devils' all-time leading scorer, had 27 points in his final college game.

Oregon 62, Oregon State 46--The Ducks (16-13, 9-9) assured themselves a fifth-place conference finish with the victory at Corvallis.

Oregon State (4-23, 2-16) shot 26% in compiling its lowest victory total since 1919.

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