Paris Austin hit two free throws with 35 seconds remaining and two more seven seconds later Friday night to help California stall a late flurry by San Jose State and escape with an 88-80 nonconference victory in Berkeley, Calif.
Darius McNeill had a game-high 22 points, and Andre Kelly amassed 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Golden Bears (5-6). Cal used a 20-4 run at the start of the second half to erase a halftime deficit and take the lead for good.
Oumar Barry and Noah Baumann scored 18 points apiece for the Spartans (3-8), who trailed 84-69 with just 3:15 remaining before rallying into contention.
Seneca Knight hit a 3-pointer and a layup in an 11-0 burst that got San Jose State back within 84-80 with 1:04 to play.
Austin was fouled on Cal’s next possession and gave the Bears a much-needed cushion with his first pair of free throws with 35 seconds left.
After a San Jose State turnover, the Spartans fouled Austin again, and again he connected on both free throws to produce the game’s final scoring.
McNeill had nine of his 22 points, including two 3-pointers, in Cal’s spurt to open the second half.
The Bears were coming off a 95-73 loss at Fresno State on Wednesday night.
Austin complemented nine points with a game-high 11 assists, while Matt Bradley added 16 points for Cal, which ran its winning streak over San Jose State to seven games.
Michael Steadman posted a 16-point, 13-rebound double-double for the Spartans, who lost 78-73 at Stanford on Tuesday.
Brae Ivey also scored in double figures for San Jose State with 13 points.
The Spartans lost despite outshooting Cal 55.8 percent to 45.9 percent from the floor.
—Field Level Media