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Cal Wins as Oregon State Freezes Up

March 14, 2003|Steve Henson | Times Staff Writer

It was after 11 p.m. at Staples Center but bright and early in the morning in Burgess Hill, England, hometown of California guard Richard Midgley.

Maybe that explains why he was chipper enough to provide the knockout blow in the Bears' 69-46 victory over Oregon State on Thursday night in the first round of the Pacific 10 Conference tournament.

Midgley, a freshman, made two three-point baskets within seconds midway through the second half, enabling No. 3-seeded Cal (21-7) to open a 15-point lead, more than enough against the frigid-shooting Beavers.

Sixth-seeded Oregon State (13-15) did not score for nearly nine minutes in the second half, and Midgley's baskets were part of a 15-0 Cal run.

The Bears, who will face USC tonight in a semifinal game, were the only higher-seeded team to win Thursday. The key was shutting down All-Pac-10 forward Philip Ricci, who could not shake a double-team and scored only seven points.

Oregon State made only 18 of 64 shots (28.1%).

Midgley led Cal with 12 points, Brian Wethers scored 11, Joe Shipp had 10 points and 10 rebounds and Amit Tamir had nine points and 10 rebounds. Coach Ben Braun pulled the starters with more than three minutes to play.

The first half was equally sluggish, with Cal eking out a 25-23 lead despite no player scoring more than six points. Oregon State shot 28.6% in the half and stayed close by grabbing 23 rebounds.

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