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Cal Basketball: Another Top-25 Foe Awaits Golden Bears in Florida

No. 21 Seton Hall will be smarting after last-second loss to Ohio State at Fort Myers.

Cal’s players probably weren’t getting a lot of tourist time in the wake of their 80-60 loss to Florida in Monday night’s opening game of the Fort Myers Tip-Off.

Coach Mark Fox talks in the video above about is dissatisfaction with the Bears’ understanding of precisely what they need to do to be successful against a high-end opponent.

The Bears were competitive for 10 minutes or so against the Gators and then came apart.

“We need to look hard at this game,” Fox said afterward. “I’ve been a little disappointed in some details of our approach. We’ve got to learn why this happened.”

So there likely was going to be a lot of video study and game prep as Cal readied itself for another Top-25 opponent on Wednesday in 21st-ranked Seton Hall.


CAL (2-3) vs. NO. 21 SETON HALL (3-1)

WHERE: Sun Coast Credit Union Arena, Fort Myers, Florida

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WHEN: Wednesday, 3 p.m.


CAL-SETON HALL HISTORY: The teams have split two games. Cal won 81-76 on Dec. 8, 1973 and Seton Hall won 60-57 on Dec. 7, 2016, despite 22 points from Cal’s Jabari Bird.

CAL STORYLINES: The Bears take on a second straight Top-25 opponent in the third-place game of the Fort Myers Tip-Off. Cal lost 80-60 to No. 23 Florida in Monday’s opener and the Pirates lost 79-76 to Ohio State . . . The Bears are 2-19 vs. Top-25 opponents since the start of the 2016-17 season . . . Cal was even with Florida at 17-17 with just under 9 minutes left in the first half, but the Gators closed the half with a 29-12 run and the Bears never challenged them again . . . Senior forward Andre Kelly, who continues to lead the Bears in scoring (15.2) and rebounding (9.6), was effectively bottled up by Florida’s quick defense. Kelly managed just four shot attempts against the Gators, finishing with nine points and four rebounds . . . Guard Jordan Shepherd (13.8 points) led Cal with 15 points on Monday night, but he is shooting just 38 percent from the field.

SETON HALL STORYLINES: The Pirates lost for the first time this season when Ohio State’s Meechie Johnson made the go-ahead 3-pointer with 2 seconds left in the Buckeyes’ 79-76 win on Monday night . . . Seton Hall climbed into the Top-25 this week after its 67-65 road victory over Michigan . . . Senior guard Jared Rhoden (17.7 points, 6.7 rebounds) scored a career-high 29 points in the loss for Seton Hall. Rhoden is a preseason All-Big East first-team selection. He is an excellent free throw shooter (90 percent in Big East play last season), but a subpar 3-point marksman (30 percent career) . . . Guard Bryce Aiken (13.3 points) is the Pirates’ only other double-figure scorer. Aiken was a 1,000-point scorer for Harvard before transferring to Seton Hall before last season . . . Kevin Willard is in his 12th season as coach at Seton Hall, which he directed to four straight NCAA tournaments from 2016-19.

CAL GAME NOTES: Click here


Cover photo of Seton Hall senior guard Jared Rhoden by Matt Pendleton, USA Today

Follow Jeff Faraudo of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jefffaraud