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PITTSBURGH - The Penn men's basketball bowed out of the NCAA tournament Friday afternoon, losing to a bigger and stronger California squad, 82-75. The Quakers hung with the Golden Bears early in the first half thanks to five three-pointers in the opening eight minutes, including three from swingman Jeff Schiffner. But a 10-0 Cal run turned the Golden Bears' four-point deficit into a six-point lead. Cal would never trail again. At the end of the first half, the Quakers had the ball and a chance to cut Cal's lead to four. However, Cal's A.J. Diggs stole the ball from Penn backup point guard David Klatsky at the top of the key, dribbled the length of the floor and laid the ball in as time expired. "That was a huge play that gave us momentum and distanced us," California head coach Ben Braun said. "There's a big difference between a six-point lead and an eight-point lead. It made the climb for Penn a little bid harder." Also making the climb difficult was that many of Penn's impact players were hampered with foul trouble. Four of Penn's five starters had at least two fouls in the first half, with point guard Andrew Toole the lone exception. Ivy League Player of the Year Ugonna Onyekwe played just 13 minutes and attempted just two shots in the first half due to his two early fouls. "We needed `U' on the floor more than he was," Penn coach Fran Dunphy said. Onyekwe and Koko Archibong, Penn's top two inside threats, had difficulty controlling the paint because of California's size. Each forward went for 16 points, but Archibong shot just 5-of-17 - 1-of-9 in the first half - and at one point was blocked twice in one possession. Jamal Sampson and Solomon Hughes, Cal's 6-foot-11 monsters, each blocked three shots apiece. Onyekwe and Archibong "are two of the most active post players we've seen all year long - they're dynamite players," Braun said. "Our post guys took away their inside position and tried to bring them out to the perimeter and limit their touches. [But] they both found a way to combine for double figures. With great players, you have to hold them to their average and you're O.K." While Solomon and Hughes were able to contain Penn's scorers, the Quakers had trouble finding like answers for Cal guard Joe Shipp or forward Bryan Wethers. Shipp led all scorers with 20 points, and Wethers was second with 19. "It was difficult when Shipp and Wethers posted up inside," Toole said. "They have a little size and we had to double up on their shooters, so that made it tough inside." Shipp, for his part, had the game's most exciting play, and perhaps Cal's biggest bucket. With the Bears up 11, Shipp took a pass from A.J. Diggs in transition, elevated and slammed home a thunderous, one-handed dunk over Archibong. The Penn forward tried to take a charge, but he was too far under the basket and ended up flat on his back, with Shipp standing over him. "It was a pretty big play but it was only worth two points," Toole said. True, but Shipp's other basket was worth three points, and probably did more in helping the Bears fend off the Quakers. The Quakers were down six, 65-59, and had just pressured Cal into taking a timeout with six seconds left on the shot clock. Taking the inbounds pass, Shipp fired from at least 25 feet, draining the shot and effectively ending the Quakers upset dreams.

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