The second-half numbers were gruesome, but it was a one statistic from the first half that foreshadowed Cal’s 68-46 loss to Boston College today in the fifth-place game of the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla.
At halftime, the Bears (3-2) were shooting 6 for 7 from the 3-point line . . . and trailed 35-31.
Shots don’t go in forever, and when they stopped falling in the second half, Cal had no chance.
The Eagles outscored Cal 33-15 over the final 20 minutes, with the Bears converting just 1 of 13 from beyond the 3-point arc, just 5 for 24 overall.
Certainly the Bears had a more encouraging start to the game than two days earlier, when they scored just five first-half points in a stunningly bad loss to Notre Dame.
The moral of the story here is clear: Winning is dictated by much more than merely shooting the ball. And the Bears did little to compensate for their poor second-half accuracy.
B.C. (4-2) not only shot the ball better, but won the rebounding battle (28-24), had fewer turnovers (15 to 11) more assists (15 to 10) and got to the FT line more (15 attempts to 10).
The Bears return home to face U.C. Davis on Wednesday needing a shot of homecooking and a boost to their confidence.
Junior PG Jorge Gutierrez, after two off nights offensively in Florida, led the Bears with 12 points on 4 for 5 shooting from the 3-point line. He had four assists and three rebounds.
The rest of the team converted just 3 of 15 from deep. The freshmen had a particularly rough time, perhaps not surprising in their third game away from home over a four-day span.
Guards Gary Franklin and Allen Crabbe combined for 11 first-half points, and did not score again. Franklin shot 2 for 12 (1 for 6 from 3PT) and Crabbe, who played well in Cal’s first two games, was 2 for 9 (2 for 8 from 3PT).
Franklin, never timid about shooting, was 8 for 36 from the floor in three tournament games — 22.2 percent. He was 6 for 24 from the 3-point line.
He will get better, but in the meantime coach Mike Montgomery has few alternatives. Freshman Emerson Murray shot 0 for 3 against B.C. and doesn’t seem ready to take on a big role.
One option may be for Montgomery to consider moving PG Brandon Smith into the starting lineup and shifting Gutierrez to the wing, allowing Franklin to come off the bench. Not sure if that’s on the table.
Markhuri Sanders-Frison had 11 points and six rebounds, but frontcourt mate Harper Kamp was limited to four points and three rebounds.