Sloppy Cal U ekes out win over Ohio Valley
CALIFORNIA – The California University basketball team overcame 17 turnovers and a second half lapse to escape with an 86-72 victory over Ohio Valley in the Holiday Inn Tournament at Hamer Hall Friday.
The Vulcans will face Franklin Pierce today at 8 p.m. at 8 in the tournament final.
California (9-1) started the game sluggish and stayed that way most of the evening.
“We didn’t play with any emotion at all,” California coach Bill Brown said. “We did not play well defensively.”
Ohio Valley’s Michael Pritchard scored 13 of his 16 points in the first half, and his three-point shooting kept his team close with the heavily favored Vulcans.
“We knew he could shoot the basketball,” Brown said. “We let him get a lot of open shots in the first half and he made us pay for it.”
Cal’s 13-2 run late in the first half, punctuated by Ryan Boles’ thunderous dunk over Jason Read, was enough to give Cal a comfortable 42-29 lead at halftime.
The Vulcans’ leading scorer was Tom Frederick, who finished with 18 points. Frederick made eight of nine shots from the floor.
“That means we didn’t do a good enough job of getting him the ball,” Brown said.
California was unable to maintain its momentum from the end of the first half, and slowly allowed the Fighting Scotties back into the game.
“We came out very flat in the second half,” Brown said.
Little-used Ohio Valley guard Casey Hargrove hit three consecutive three-pointers in the second half, the final one cutting California’s lead to 66-61 with 6:16 remaining.
Frederick, who had not scored since the first half, quickly hit a three-point play to give the Vulcans some breathing room.
After a defensive stop, Gerrmar Ballard hit a huge three-pointer that essentially put the game away.
Although Cal U was expected to have an easy time with Ohio Valley (2-5), the Vulcans committed four more turnovers (17) than they had assists (13).
Ishmieal Kamara scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half, and for much of the final 20 minutes was the Vulcans’ only consistent offense.
Sharif Brown (14) and Ryan Stefanski (11) were the other Vulcans to score in double figures.
Although his team is off to a good start, Brown made it clear he expects a better effort in tomorrow night’s game.
“I hope we play better tomorrow,” he said. “If we play tomorrow like we played tonight, we’re going to be in for a very long night. It’s going to be a tough, physical game.”
Franklin Pierce downed District of Columbia, 57-54, in the opener.
Derek Rodgerson led the winners with 17 points.
Calvin Stith had 16 for District of Columbia..