Cal Basketball: Bears Add Saturday Home Game vs. Cal State Northridge

Cal is expected to cancel a planned trip East that includes a game vs. Boston College
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Cal will return to the basketball court Saturday at home against Cal State Northridge at Haas Pavilion.

The Bears have not announced the addition to their schedule but the game is listed on the Matadors’ schedule and on ESPN’s college basketball site.

Tipoff time and TV information has yet to be announced.

Coach Mark Fox suggested on Sunday there would be changes to the rest of the Bears’ non-conference schedule because a planned trip to the East Coast was in question due to COVID-19 issues with one of two schools Cal hoped to play.

Both the Cal and Boston College websites continue to list a Dec. 22 matchup between the Bears and Eagles at Chestnut Hill, MA, but that game and another vs. an unannounced opponent are “in jeopardy,” Fox said.

Cal is coming off perhaps its best performance of the season, a 72-70 comeback victory at home over USF. The Bears trailed by 12 points early but battled back an stayed close until senior transfer Makale Foreman buried a game-winning 3-point shot at the final horn.

The Bears improved to 3-4 and snapped a three-game losing skid with the win over the Dons, who had won five of their first six games and owned victories against Cal the past two seasons.

Fox talks in the video above about the benefits of beating a good team.

Cal is 6-0 all-time vs. Cal State Northridge, including an 83-63 victory three seasons ago.

Northridge won three of its first four games, including an 89-84 verdict over Pepperdine, which beat Cal last week. The Matadors lost 82-71 to Stanford on Tuesday afternoon.

The Matadors, coached by Mark Gottried, feature junior point guard TJ Starks, who averaged 19.3 points and 3.5 assists through the team's first four games. Senior small forward Lance Coleman II, who grew up in the East Bay, contributes 16.5 points and Alex Merkviladze, a 6-9 freshman from the former Soviet republic of Georgia, adds 12.3 points and 9.3 rebounds.

Northridge was 15-17 a year ago but won its final four games before the season was halted because of the approaching pandemic just before the start of the Big West Conference tournament.

Both Gottfried and Fox had lengthy stints coaching in the Southeastern Conference, Gottfried at Alabama and Fox at Georgia. But they missed crossing paths in the SEC because Gottfried resigned at Alabama after the 2008-09 season, the year Georgia hired Fox.

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Cover photo of Ryan Betley by Kelley L. Cox, USA Today

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