Bryce Pope scored 19 points and his fifth 3-pointer with 12 seconds left helped UC San Diego blunt a California rally for a 64-62 victory on Tuesday night for its first win of the season.
The last time they met, the Tritons earned an 80-67 victory at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley to start the 2021-22 season.
Pope’s last 3 of the night gave the Tritons a 64-60 lead. Following a UC San Diego timeout, Cal’s Devin Askew laid it in to reduce the deficit to two. The Bears then called timeout and fouled Jace Roquemore, who promptly missed the front-end of a 1-and-1. Askew secured the rebound but his errant 3-point heave along the right sideline sailed past the rim.
Pope’s 3 with 7:07 before intermission gave put UC San Diego (1-2) a 28-10 lead before the Bears (0-3) began the long climb back.
Joel Brown’s layup with 2:14 left brought Cal within 59-58, and he converted another with 58 seconds to get within 61-60, but Cal could never grab the lead.
Emmanuel Tshimanga scored scored 12 points on 5-for-6 shooting off the bench and Roquemore scored 11.
For Cal, Askew scored 13 points, Grant Newell 12, Kuany Kuany 11 and Lars Thiemann 10.
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