Basketball: Washington State game thread

FINAL SCORE: Cal 93, WSU 88. Randle finished with a career-high 39 points – most by a Cal player since Leon Powe had 41 against Oregon in the 2006 Pac-10 tournament. Cal is 11-5, 3-1 in the Pac-10 — alone in first place after losses by Oregon and Stanford. Christopher had 21 points, Boykin 16 and Robertson 13. Freshman Reggie Moore scored 25 for WSU (12-5, 2-3).   LATE UPDATES: Mike Montgomery provided no details on Bak’s eligibility question after the game. He said Sanders-Frison developed back spasms earlier in the week and did not practice much. He is questionable, at best, for Saturday. Randle’s right knee was sore after a pile up late in the game, but he said he will be fine for the Huskies. I will have more Friday afternoon after talking again with Monty.

4:28 2nd H: Randle has a career-high 34 points, including seven 3-pointers, and Cal leads 80-69.

8:59 2nd H: Cal’s lead is holding at 70-58. Randle has 26 points, Christopher 15.

12:39 2nd H: Cal’s lead reached 59-45 after a layup by Boykin off a nice feed from D.J. Seeley with 13:47 left. But the Cougars have closed to 59-49.

15:25 2nd H: Cal leads 52-45 and — believe it or not — is about to shoot its first FTs of the game. Christopher to the line for 2. Randle has 18 points, and has become the Bears’ fourth double-digit scorer with 11. Word from Cal is that Bak Bak has some sort of eligibility issue, and that’s why he was left home. No details on exactly what that means. Sanders-Frison’s back seemingly will keep him on the sideline for the entire night.

THIS SCORE JUST IN: Arizona State beat Oregon 76-57 at Mac Court. Rihards Kuksiks scored 25 for the Sun Devils. Tajuan Porter 2-for-11 for the Ducks.

HALFTIME SCORE: Cal 41, WSU 37. Only four points left from what once was a 20-point lead. And the Bears are lucky — Klay Thompson, the Pac-10 scoring leader, is just 1-for-6. Randle has 11 points and nine assists, Robertson has 11 points and Boykin has 10. Cal is shooting 54.8 percent, which sounds great, but the Bears were at 81 percent after 8 minutes. Reggie Moore has 10 points for WSU, which is shooting an even 50 percent. Because they have shot primarily perimeter shots, Cal has attempted zero FTs at halftime.

1:23 1st H: It’s a game again. WSU has outscored Cal 24-11 over the past 11 minutes and now is down just 39-32. Cal’s shooting has cooled to 53.3 percent — just three of their past 14 attempts — and the Cougs have warmed up to 48.3 percent. Remember when the rebounds were 11-2 for Cal? Now just 16-13.

7:38 1st H: So much for a perfect half . . . WSU has gone 13-4 since the last timeout and now trails just 32-21. The Bears still are shooting 72.2 percent, but have committed four turnovers in their past eight turnovers. And the Cougars have made six straight shots, allowing them to get back on defense and preventing transition opportunities by the Bears. It’s a different game when Cal must play out of the halfcourt.

11:37 1st H: Cal’s lead is 28-8. The Bears have made 11 of 14 shots for an astonishing 78.6 percent. And only two of those were layups. Robertson has 11 points, Randle has eight points and seven assists and Boykin has six points. Cal is outrebounding the Cougars 11-2 and has just one turnover. So far, the Bears are playing nearly a perfect basketball game.

12:59 1st H: It’s 26-8 and Cal is shooting 10-for-13 from the floor (76.9 percent) and 6-for-7 (85.7 percent) from the 3-point arc. The Bears are getting defensive stops and shifting into transition seamlessly. The ball movement is good, and no one in a WSU uniform has found Robertson, alone on the wing. Robertson has 11 points, including three 3-pointers. Randle already has seven assists.

15:23 1st H: Robertson and Christopher just hit 3-pointers, giving the Bears 12 points in four possessions over less than 2 minutes. It’s 16-3 and WSU coach Ken Bone is using timeout as quickly as he can print them up. Cal is scoring in transition, and WSU is going to have problems if it cannot stop that.

16:25 1st H: Randle has hit back-to-back 3-pointers and Cal leads 10-3. WSU is shooting 1-for-6, the Bears 4-for-6. Boykin has two baskets.

PERSONNEL UPDATE: Sanders-Frison apparently not starting because of a back issue. Bak Bak isn’t here — trying to find out why.

STARTING LINEUPS: A change tonight for the Bears, who will start sophomore forward Omondi Amoke in place of center Markhuri Sanders-Frison. This will be Amoke’s first career start. The rest of the Bears’ starting group is the same: Jerome Randle, Patrick Christopher, Theo Robertson and Jamal Boykin. WSU will go with Reggie Moore, Klay Thompson, Marcus Capers, Abe Lodick and DeAngelo Casto. 

GREETINGS: Hi folks, I’m here in beautiful Pullman, Wash., awaiting the start of the Bears’ game against Washington State. Seriously, compared to our two most recent visits here, it has been truly a beautiful day — temps in the 40s, a little rain . . . and no blizzard. So, we’ll take it.

Here is my story from this morning’s editions, previewing tonight’s game.

And here’s an excellent piece from the Spokane Spokesman-Review on the long, difficult road that brought James Watson to Washington State.

I’ll be back in a while with starting lineups.

Jeff Faraudo