Cold-shoot­ing Bears stum­ble to open sea­son in Shang­hai

San Francisco Chronicle Late Edition - - COLLEGES - By Rusty Sim­mons Rusty Sim­mons is a San Fran­cisco Chron­i­cle staff writer. Email: rsim­mons@sfchron­i­cle.com Twit­ter: @Rusty_SFChron

Cal fresh­man guard James Zhao said Shang­hai is like a com­bi­na­tion of New York City and Las Ve­gas.

The Bears are hop­ing that what hap­pened in Shang­hai stays in Shang­hai.

Cal led for only 26 sec­onds and trailed by as many as 21 points in a 76-59 sea­son-open­ing loss to Yale in front of a sell­out crowd at the Baoshan Sports Cen­tre and an ESPNU tele­cast Fri­day night (Sat­ur­day af­ter­noon in China).

Boise State-trans­fer guard Paris Austin and fresh­man guard Matt Bradley com­bined to go 9-for-17 for 31 points, and the rest of the Bears went 9-for-34 (26.5 per­cent) for 28 points.

The “rest of ” group in­cludes Cal’s top re­turn­ers Jus­tice Sue­ing (nine points on 3-for-14 shoot­ing) and Dar­ius McNeill (two points on 0-for-8 shoot­ing). The Bears com­mit­ted 16 turnovers and had just six as­sists in be­com­ing the first Pac-12 team to lose in the Pac-12 China Game.

The con­fer­ence made sure that won’t hap­pen next year. The Pac-12 an­nounced Fri­day that Ari­zona State and Colorado will meet in the fifth an­nual game in China next sea­son, but the game will not count as a Pac-12 game.

Yale, which is pro­jected to fin­ish third in the Ivy League, got 16 apiece from Miye Oni and Azar Swain in the flag­ship event of an eight-day trip to China. The itin­er­ary that in­cluded a tour of the Alibaba cam­pus, an ed­u­ca­tional sports sum­mit, in­ter­ac­tion with the Yao Foun­da­tion of Hope School and walk­ing tours of China’s his­toric land­marks.

“The trip, be­sides the game, ob­vi­ously, we’ve had an un­be­liev­able time,” Cal head coach Wyk­ing Jones said. “I hope that this trip has brought us closer to­gether as a pro­gram and as a fam­ily. It didn’t end the way we wanted it to end, but it’s def­i­nitely an ex­pe­ri­ence that we’ll all take with us for the rest of our lives.”

Cal missed its first five shots from the floor and had four turnovers be­fore Bradley stepped into a pass­ing lane and streaked the length of the court for a dunk that was the Bears’ first field goal.

They were shoot­ing 3-for-18 with seven turnovers when they fi­nally recorded their first as­sist — a dish from Austin for a Bradley wing three-pointer that trimmed Yale’s lead to 28-14 with 4:28 left in the first half.

The Bull­dogs went on a 13-0 run, de­spite hav­ing Oni, an All-Ivy League guard, on the bench with foul trou­ble, as they dic­tated the pace of the game and played stingy de­fense. Austin and Bradley com­bined to go 4-for-9 for 16 points in the first half, and the rest of the Bears went 1-for-16 for five points as they sunk into a 33-21 hole.

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