Nov. 21, 1999
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - Eduardo Najera started the game with a slam-dunk and went on to score 23 points and pull down 8 rebounds as Oklahoma defeated Cal 75-58 Sunday to win the Top of the World Classic.
Najera dominated the court on defense, helping the Sooners (3-0) stifle Cal's attempts to rally in the second half. Twice he scrambled back to foil the Cal fast-break by swatting away easy lay-ups.
On offense, the 6-8 forward was able to both post up Cal's smaller forwards and sink medium-range jump-shots.
California (2-1) tied the game 38-38 early in the second half on a lay-up by freshman center Nick Vander Laan, but Oklahoma scored 15 unanswered points to take a 61-44 lead with 7:54 to play. Najera scored six points during the run.
Oklahoma started strong as Najera slammed in an alley-oop pass just after the tip-off. The Sooners led by 13 after Kelly Newton sank a 3-pointer with 9:50 to play in the half to cap an 18-5 Oklahoma run.
But Vander Laan scored 8 points in a 15-5 run to pull the Bears within 2, 31-29, at halftime. Vander Laan led Cal with 23 points. Oklahoma held Sean Lampley, the Bears' star forward, to 9 points.
Forward Nolan Johnson scored 14 points for Oklahoma.