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recently, Peralta ha
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 04:29:13    Post subject:  recently, Peralta ha
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BERKELEY, Calif. -- Every time Arizona had been challenged this season, the Wildcats survived by making big plays and big shots in the closing moments of big games. They finally found out what it feels like to be on other end of a celebration. Justin Cobbs hit a step-back jumper with 0.9 seconds left, and California stunned No. 1 Arizona 60-58 on Saturday night to hand the Wildcats their first loss of the season. "Wed always found a way to be on the positive end of it," Wildcats coach Sean Miller said. "Tonight in that same moment, we didnt make the shots and we didnt get the big stop." Cobbs, who scored Cals final 12 points, dribbled to his left and beat Nick Johnson before pulling up in front of an oncoming defender to sink the winning shot that sent a raucous, gold-shirt wearing crowd at Haas Pavilion spilling onto the court. Not realizing a timeout had been called, Cal coach Mike Montgomery and security had to frantically usher fans away before the final play. Gabe Yorks full-court pass was knocked down to give the Bears (15-7, 6-3 Pac-12) their first victory over a top-ranked opponent since Jan. 30, 1994, when they beat UCLA 85-70 at the Oakland Coliseum. "I think its just good for Cal, and I think its good for the university and the students to come out and have that kind of excitement," Montgomery said. "I think one of the things youre trying to generate is them enjoying the game, enjoying the experience, and I think there was some of that tonight." Arizona (21-1, 8-1), which had won a school-record 21 straight games after surviving to beat Stanford 60-57 on Wednesday night, was one of just three unbeaten teams left in Division I. Now only second-ranked Syracuse (21-0), which outlasted No. 17 Duke 91-89 in overtime Saturday, and No. 4 Wichita State (23-0) remain. Even worse for the Wildcats, Miller said starting forward Brandon Ashley appeared to have broken his right foot going for a rebound in the opening minutes. He was scheduled to have an X-ray when the team gets back in Tucson, Miller said. Cobbs finished with 19 points and seven assists, David Kravish had 14 points and 11 rebounds and Richard Solomon scored 12 points to propel Cal to one of the biggest wins in school history. The Bears improved to 3-24 against teams ranked No. 1 in The Associated Press poll, and they had never beaten a top-ranked team in Berkeley. "Just a lot of fun," Solomon said. Kaleb Tarczewski scored a career-high 18 points and grabbed six rebounds, and T.J. McConnell scored 13 points for the Wildcats, who shot just 32.3 per cent from the floor. Cal, which shot 44.6 per cent, held Johnson -- Arizonas star guard -- to just 4 points on 1-of-14 shooting. "Because weve been in this situation so many times, were really comfortable. We werent worried at all. We were ramped up," Tarczewski said. "Cobbs made a really, really tough shot." The game attracted quite an audience, too. There were 21 scouts from 14 different NBA teams in attendance. Former Wildcats coach Lute Olson sat in the stands behind Arizonas bench, and Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin -- a Cal alum -- also supported his Bears. "No. 1 brings out everybody," Montgomery said. The Wildcats rallied from nine points down in the first half and eight in the second to set up a furious finish. Arizona took the lead twice in the final minutes, and twice Cobbs came back with a tying score -- first on a runner in the lane and then on a pair of free throws. On the final sequence, Johnson missed a short jumper in the lane and Cal corralled the rebound. Cobbs let the clock tick down, then beat Johnson for a shot that will long be remembered in Berkeley. Fans had to be pushed back off the court in a weird and wild scene, with the public address announcer screaming for them to get back. The Bears soon gave them reason to come back and celebrate. "Honestly I was getting claustrophobic," Cobbs said, laughing. "I couldnt breathe." The Bears kept Arizonas big front line at bay from the start. Solomon made his first six shots, including a short jumper that put the Bears ahead 28-19 late with 5:18 remaining in the first half. Arizona answered back by converting steals into easy baskets, closing the half on a 10-2 run to cut Cals lead to 30-29. It was the seventh time Arizona had trailed at the half this season. Both teams had to overcome adversity after the break. Johnson seemed to be bothered by an injury to his left hand -- repeatedly shaking his wrist after shots and grimacing -- and Solomon was stuck in foul trouble. In the end, Cal just made one more play than Arizona. "We made plays to put us in that position," McConnell said. "But Cobbs made a good shot down the stretch."   .com) - Manchester City will face a steep test in the Champions League knockout stage as the English champions were drawn with Barcelona on Monday.   .com) - Real Madrid claimed its 20th consecutive win across all competitions by cruising to a 4-1 victory at Almeria on Friday.   . Or, for that matter, the aged.   . -- Jay Haas and Peter Jacobsen took the second-round lead Saturday in the Champions Tours Legends of Golf, teaming for a 6-under 48 in windy conditions on the par-3 Top of the Rock course.   . The No. 23 seed at the first Grand Slam event of the tennis season has worked out all the details, from his training regime right down to where hes going to eat dinner.The St. Louis Cardinals had a major need at shortstop and signed a veteran free agent who, while having PED issues, has been a potent hitter throughout his career. Numbers Game looks at the Cardinals addition of Jhonny Peralta. The Cardinals Get: SS Jhonny Peralta. Peralta, 31, has been one of the more productive shortstops in baseball since sticking as a regular in 2005. From that point, Peralta has slugged 152 home runs, behind only Hanley Ramirez, J.J. Hardy and Troy Tulowitzki in that span, and Peraltas cumulative fWAR of 23.0 ranks seventh at the position since 2005. More recently, Peralta has a fWAR of 11.0 over the last three seasons, which ranks fourth among shortstops. So, weve established that Peralta can hit the ball, but he deserves credit for fielding too. Earlier in his career, with Cleveland, Peralta typically had a negative Defensive Runs Saved and negative Ultimate Zone Rating, indications that his glovework -- and especially his range -- werent necessarily up to snuff. However, while Peralta isnt a Gold Glove candidate, hes fared significantly better in Detroit and does have a strong arm, so he doesnt pose an immediate problem in the field. He is on the north side of 30, though, so it shouldnt come as a surprise if his range becomes an issue. The main concern with Peralta is how his 2013 season was sideswiped by a 50-game suspension for use of performance-enhancing *****. He did hit a career-high .303 in 2013, before getting suspended, with an .815 OPS that was the third-highest of his career (following a .689 OPS in 2012, his lowest in a full MLB season), so its fair to wonder whether Peralta will be as productive if hes clean. It would probably be reasonable to assume that he wont be aas productive.dddddddddddd Nevertheless, even if Peralta isnt likely to duplicate his 2013 season for the next four years, he should be an upgrade on punchless Pete Kozma at shortstop for the Cardinals. St. Louis shortstops had an OPS of .583 last season, ranking 28th, so anything resembling competent offensive play would represent an upgrade. Peralta has fared well against the National League throughout his career, hitting .301 with an .856 OPS in 156 career Inter-League games. The Tigers reacted quickly when Peralta was suspended last summer, dealing for slick-fielding Jose Iglesias, who doesnt have Peraltas bat, but is much better in the field. Peralta is signed for four years and $52-million, significant money even for a starting shortstop, particularly because of the risk that, by the end of this deal, Peralta either may not be able to play shortstop or he may simply be a liability in the field. If his bat happens to slow down at the same time, the Cardinals could really regret the length of the contract, but its easy to see the appeal in adding a middle infielder who has pop in his bat, particularly when contrasted with the relative lack of offence that the Cardinals received from their shortstops last season. If Peralta happens to hit 12-15 home runs per season and turns out to be worth 8-10 wins total over the next four years, then hes probably fulfilled his side of the deal. If hes not capable of doing that clean, then the Cardinals are going to regret rolling the dice on a player caught using performance-enhancing ***** in 2013. Scott Cullen can be reached at   and followed on Twitter at   For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook. ' ' '
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