Andre Kelly scored twice from the interior early in overtime to give California an advantage, and the Golden Bears held on to defeat visiting UNLV 79-75 in a nonconference game Tuesday night in Berkeley, Calif.
Matt Bradley and Kareem South combined for five free throws in the final 21 seconds as Cal improved to 2-0. The Rebels, who opened with a win over Purdue-Fort Wayne, fell to 1-2.
A 3-pointer by South and the two hoops by Kelly gave Cal a 74-69 cushion less than two minutes into the extra session. The Rebels rallied within one on a pair of free throws and a layup by Elijah Mitrou-Long with 1:08 to play.
The Rebels had a chance to go ahead, but Mitrou-Long missed a driving 10-footer in the lane before Cal iced the win at the free-throw line.
After a first half in which neither team led by more than four points, Cal’s South made one of two free throws to produce a 52-all tie with 11:33 remaining in regulation.
UNLV then made the game’s first pull-away with an 11-2 run that featured a 3-pointer by Jonah Antonio.
Down 63-54 with 7:44 to play, the Bears rallied back within 65-62 on a 3-pointer by Joel Brown with 4:03 to play. Cal eventually forged a 67-all tie when Bradley sank two free throws with 33 seconds left.
Cal had the last shot of regulation, but Paris Austin had a buzzer-beating runner in the lane bounce off the rim, prompting the extra five minutes.
Bradley was the game’s leading scorer with 23 points for the Golden Bears, just an eight-win team last season. South chipped in with 14 points, Brown 12 and Austin 10.
Donnie Tillman had 17 points and eight rebounds for UNLV, which had won its two more recent visits to Berkeley by a total of two points. Mitrou-Long finished with 16 points and Amauri Hardy 15 for the Rebels.
—Field Level Media