BERKELEY, Calif. — — Brandon Walker scored a career-high 26 points and Montana State survived two late 3-point attempts to defeat California 63-60 on Thursday night.
The Golden Bears, whose last lead was 5-4, got two chances to tie when Robert Ford III missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 11 seconds to play. But Jalen Cone missed a 3 from the right wing and after the Bobcats lost the ball out of bounds his rushed shot was off the mark.
Patrick McMahon added 10 points for MSU (2-1) but he left the game with an injury with 6:46 to play. Another starter, Eddie Turner III, didn’t make the trip. In addition, the Bobcats had four players with four fouls and they went 4 of 24 from 3-point range.
Walker, a sophomore transfer UT Arlington, was 12 of 21. The Cats shot 43% (25 of 58) despite their struggles from long range.
Jaylon Tyson scored 27 points, 19 in the second half, to keep the Golden Bears (2-2) in the game. Fardaws Aimaq added 14 points and 12 rebounds as Cal was plus-14 on the boards. Cal also had 16 turnovers to eight for the visitors.
Tyson scored Cal’s 11 points with two free throws with 2:34 left making it 57-56. MSU’s Brian Goracke then muscled inside for a basket and then added two free throws.
Walker had 14 points and the Bobcats led 33-27 at the half, despite going 1 of 12 on 3s.
Cal faces UTEP in the SoCal Challenge on Monday. Montana State plays host to its own tournament, facing Green Bay on Monday.
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