A few quick notes and observations before I log out for the night . . .
– The 95 points were the most Cal has scored against Arizona since 1996.
– Cal’s seniors obviously came to play: The four starters combined for 76 points, 20 rebounds and 14 assists. Even a few nice moments for senior reserve guard Nikola Knezevic, who scored five points and gave the crowd a great moment with a behind-the-back move before completing a layup.
– The Bears had 19 assists to just 11 turnovers. Mike Montgomery was extremely pleased with PG Jerome Randle, who got the ball into the hands of the team’s other shooters in the first half, then took over when the opportunity presented itself. He scored 17 points in a span of 4 1/2 minutes, helping Cal transform a 47-37 lead into 67-44.
– Montgomery stopped short of declaring Randle deserves the Pac-10 Player of the Year award, but said, “All I know is we’re playing for a championship on Saturday, and we probably wouldn’t be doing that without him.”
– Jamal Boykin had 20/10 — his sixth double-double of the season. Boykin truly has had an excellent senior season. His defense also helped the Bears defuses the Arizona pick-and-roll play that was so effective in Tucson last month.
– Nice complementary efforts off the bench tonight from Markhuri Sanders-Frison (4 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 1 killer pick) and D.J. Seeley (5 points, 2 rebounds and generally good hustle).
– UA coach Sean Miller was gracious and complimentary in defeat. “Cal is a very good team and they deserve to win the Pac-10 regular-season championship,” he said. “They are led by a terrific point guard. Jerome Randle is such a prolific shooter. They are a better team than us . . . We lost to a much better team, a more experienced team and a very disciplined team that’s trying to win a conference championship here this weekend, and you could really tell. They came out and seized the moment.”
– Minus the final six minutes of the first half and the first two minutes of the second, Cal outscored Arizona 91-51. “If we can play like that, we’re pretty tough to beat, especially at home,” said Theo Robertson, alluding to the Bears’ 14-1 record at Haas Pavilion.
– Montgomery said he’s not worried about his team’s mental state for Saturday’s Senior Day game against Arizona State, when the Bears can lock up a tie for their first Pac-10 title in 50 years. “It’s all right there in front of us,” he said.