BERKELEY, Calif. — After playing a clean first half with a blistering shooting percentage, UNLV went cold, turned the ball over and couldn’t keep pace with Cal, falling 79-75 to the Golden Bears in overtime.
The Rebels held a 40-38 lead at halftime, shooting 59.3 percent in the game’s first 20 minutes. They were also aggressive in getting to the paint, scoring 24 of their 40 first-half points from short range.
But the team didn’t score for significant stretches in the second half, allowing the Golden Bears to get back in the game. After making the score 52-47 with 15 minutes left, Cal went on a 5-0 run to tie the game at 52.
The Rebels got back in control with an 11-2 run to take a 63-54 lead and Amauri Hardy’s two from the paint gave UNLV a 65-56 advantage.
But the Golden Bears came roaring back, with a pair of free throws from Cal’s Matt Bradley tying the game at 67 with just over 30 seconds left.
UNLV guard Amauri Hardy got stuffed on a shot in the paint with about five seconds left, and while Donnie Tillman picked up the loose ball he couldn’t get off a shot before the shot clock expired.
Cal missed a shot at the buzzer.
The Golden Bears scored the first five points in overtime, taking a 72-67 lead off Kareem South’s three and Andre Kelly’s jump shot.
The Rebels were able to cut the deficit to 74-73, but Elijah Mitrou-Long missed a short jump shot with 24 seconds left. Following a pair of free throws, Mitrou-Long made another layup to again cut Cal’s lead to one with 15.2 seconds left.
Cal split its two free throws, leading to an opportunity for the Rebels to tie the game at 77. But Mitrou-Long lost his handle on the way to the basket for another turnover, as Cal came away with the win.