No. 12 Virginia uses big second half, holds off Cal 56-52

Virginia's Kyle Guy shoots against California during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016 in Berkley, Ca. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Isaiah Wilkins scored a tiebreaking three-point play with 1:02 remaining, Mamadi Diakite added a key basket in the final minute, and No. 12 Virginia held off California 56-52 on Wednesday night to snap the Golden Bears’ school-record 27-game home winning streak.

Kyle Guy scored 17 points, including seven straight during a big second-half run and two free throws with 15.9 seconds to play, and London Perrantes added 14 points.

The Cavaliers (10-1) won their third straight since their lone loss to West Virginia on Dec. 3 that snapped Virginia’s 24-game winning streak at John Paul Jones Arena.

Jabari Bird scored 15 points and Ivan Rabb had 12 rebounds and nine points in a matchup of two top defenses. The Golden Bears (9-3) had the fourth-longest home unbeaten run in the nation and were handed their first defeat at Haas Pavilion since Feb. 25, 2015, against Oregon.

While just the second meeting between the schools, both have been tight, defensive games. The fifth-ranked Cavaliers held off Cal 63-62 in overtime last season in Charlottesville.

Virginia answered Cal’s early spurt out of halftime with a 17-2 run.

But the Bears stayed in it until the waning moments.

Perrantes hit a 15-footer with 1:50 to go before Sam Singer’s three-point play moments later tied it at 49.

With the Cavaliers’ large contingent of fans in Berkeley, they held Cal to 35.3 percent shooting and 5 for 23 on 3-point attempts. Virginia entered the game with the nation’s top scoring defense, allowing a school-record low 46.7 points per game. The Cavaliers have held nine of their first 11 opponents to 52 or fewer points.


Virginia: The Hoos came in scoring 71.2 points per game while shooting 51 percent from the field and 39 percent from 3-point range. … Cal was one of 13 games for the Cavaliers against teams in the 2016 NCAA Tournament.

California: The Bears haven’t beaten a Top 25 opponent since Feb. 11, against No. 11 Oregon. … Cal was trying for the best non-conference finish since the Bears went 11-2 under coach Mike Montgomery in 2008.

Third-year coach Cuonzo Martin is 24-3 in non-conference play.


Players from Perrantes’ high school, Crespi Carmelite from Southern California, took up much of Section 7 in one upper corner of the arena as the program scheduled a game Thursday afternoon against Bishop O’Dowd around the chance to be in the Bay Area to see the school’s former star play. Members of the varsity, JV and freshman teams were in attendance.

Coach Russell White brought 45 kids and seven coaches, a 5 1/2-hour bus trip in the works for two years.

“It just seemed right,” he said. “London changed our program. This is an opportunity to show our former players we still support them and it’s an opportunity to show our current players what’s out there for them if they work for it.”


Virginia: Opens the Atlantic Coast Conference schedule next Wednesday at No. 10 Louisville.

California: Hosts No. 18 Arizona on Dec. 30 to open Pac-12 play.