SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — Cal’s Jalen Cone made a game-tying 3-pointer with six seconds remaining, but UTEP’s Tae Hardy answered with a 3-pointer of his own as time expired to rally UTEP to a 75-72 victory over the Golden Bears at the SoCal Challenge on Monday night at JSerra High.
Hardy’s shot, which rolled around the rim before hitting the backboard and falling through the net, sends unbeaten UTEP (5-0) to the Sand Division championship game of the Challenge, where the Miners will face Bradley on Wednesday night. The Golden Bears (2-3) will square off with Tulane in the third-place nightcap.
Cal’s first basket didn’t come until the game was four minutes old, but Rodney Brown Jr.’s 3-pointer gave the Golden Bears a 19-12 lead with 11:50 left before halftime. UTEP chipped away until Corey Camper Jr.’s 3-pointer put the Miners ahead 24-21 at the 8-minute mark. UTEP led the rest of the half, taking a 40-35 lead into intermission.
The Golden Bears scored the first six points of the second half to grab the lead. UTEP battled back into the lead and two free throws by Hardy left the Miners with a 71-63 lead with 4:20 remaining. Cone hit two free throws with 50 seconds left before he nailed his game-tying 3-pointer.
Hardy led the Miners with 16 points. Zid Powell had 13 points, six rebounds and four steals. Calvin Solomon scored 13 before fouling out. Camper added 11 points off the bench, while Otis Frazier III scored 10.
Fardaws Aimaq finished with 18 points on 9-for-13 shooting with 11 rebounds before fouling out for the Golden Bears. Cone and Jaylon Tyson added 15 points apiece.
The teams attempted 63 free throws, with UTEP going 30 for 37 and Cal converting 20 of 26.
📺 CBS Sports Network pic.twitter.com/Yv11GzvadP
— UTEP Men’s Basketball (@UTEPMBB) November 21, 2023
Bradley 80, Tulane 77: Malevy Leons had 18 points and four steals to lead the Braves (4-0) in the early Surf Division semifinal. Darius Hannah had 14 points on 6-for-7 shooting to go with six rebounds, and Duke Deen added 13 points.
The Green Wave (3-1) were led by Jaylen Forbes, who had 17 points and two steals. Kevin Cross added 14 points, eight rebounds and two steals for Tulane, and Sion James had 14 points, six rebounds and two steals.
In Sand Division games …
Cal State Bakersfield 75, Sacramento State 71: Trailing by 10 points midway through the second half, Bakersfield (3-2) closed the game on a 20-6 run to get past Sacramento State.
Kaleb Higgins had 13 points and five assists and Dalph Panopio had 13 points and five rebounds off the bench to pace the Roadrunners. Cameron Wilbon had 12 points, as did Ugnius Jarusevicius
Brandon Betson led the Hornets (1-4) with 16 points, while Zee Hamoda had 13 points and three assists. Duncan Powell, who played a game-high 35 minutes, had seven points, 11 rebounds and three assists for Sacramento, which was 21 for 23 from the free-throw line.
Tarleton State 66, Austin Peay 59: Jakorie Smith had 28 points and seven rebounds to pace the Texans (3-2) to victory. Lue Williams scored 15 points while going 6 for 11 from the field (3 for 6 from 3-point range). Kiandre Gaddy added 13 points on 5-for-7 shooting to go with seven rebounds.
The Governors (2-3) were led in scoring by Demarcus Sharp, who finished with 17 points and six assists. Ja’Monta Black added 16 points and seven rebounds and Sai Witt finished with seven points and seven rebounds.
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