Basketball: San Diego St. game thread

FINAL SCORE: San Digeo State 77, Cal 57. Kawhi Leonard, who looks like a pro, scored 20 points, James Rahon scored 15 and D.J. Gay had 14 — all in the second half — for the Aztecs, who improved to 9-0 for the first time in school history. Cal (5-3) got 19 points from Gutierrez, 18 from Kamp. Sanders-Frison, despite his foot problems, contributed eight points and 12 rebounds. Cal shot 38 percent and was 0 for 9 from the 3-point line. The Bears outrebounded SDSU 38-28.

3:51  2nd H: SDSU leads 67-52 and this is about over. Kamp and MSF each have four fouls, the latter is now on the bench. Cal won the rebounding battle, but that was about it. Bears are 0 for 9 from 3PT and shooting 38 percent overall. And too often this half the Aztecs have scored uncontested transition baskets after a bad shot or turnover.

7:35 2nd H: SDSU leads 58-48. Bak just scored off a pass from Crabbe. Monty is trying every combination he can come up with. But the Aztecs right now are playing like the 14th-ranked team in the country.

9:36 2nd H: SDS just scored seven straight points, including a couple fastbreak baskets where Cal simply did not get back on defense. Monty called timeout — and he was MAD. It’s 58-44 and may be slipping away. Sanders-Frison returning to the floor.

11:12 2nd H: Crabbe just scored on a nice post-up move off a feed from Richard Solomon — so a nice contribution from the freshman, after all. Gutierrez stole the ball and Cal will have possession after the timeout. SDSU leads 51-44. Bears at 35.9 percent, Aztecs at 41.7. Cal still has not made a 3-pointer: 0 for 8. But still in charge on the boards: 33-22. But they are going to miss MSF if he does not return. He is, however, lacing up his shoes again on the sideline. Will keep you posted.

11:50 2nd H: The Aztecs have gone 8-0 on the Bears, including a pair of 3-pointers by Gay, and lead 51-42. Plenty of SDSU fans cheering about it. (A good crowd, by the way. Easily the biggest of the year). Sanders-Frison has his right shoe off on the sideline. Don’t know if he’ll be back. Crabbe made a nice head-fake and jumper a few minutes ago, but the freshman are struggling. He and Franklin are a combined 1 for 11.

14:34 2nd H: Sanders-Frison, who had eight points and 11 rebounds, just limped off the floor, apparently aggravating the plantar faschiitis in one of his feet. He is sitting on the floor at the end of the Cal bench. Looks like his right foot.

15:55 2nd H: SDSU leads 39-36 after six more lead changes. Thomas and Leonard, two of the Aztecs’ good frontcourt players, have picked up their third fouls. Gutierrez has 13 points and Kamp 12. Leonard has 10 for SDSU.

HALFTIME: San Diego State leads 28-26. Gutierrez came back into the game at a timeout with 20 seconds left and drew a three-shot foul, then made them all. Cal is within two points of the No. 14 team in the country despite shooting  7 for 29 (24.1 percent) in the half. Cal was 0 for 5 from the 3-point line and has seven turnovers.  But they forged a 29-19 rebounding advantage against a team outrebounding its opponents by more than eight per game. Sanders-Frison has nine rebounds. Kamp and Gutierrez each have nine points. SDSU, shooting just 30.6 percent, is led by Rahon with 11 points.

3:50 1st H: San Diego State leads 22-18. Kamp has nine points and five rebounds and with 4:08 left scored on a tipin — the Bears’ first field goal in 10 minutes.

6:37 1st H: (Sorry about that — computer ills). San Diego State leads 20-16. James Rahon, the sixth man and Santa Clara transfer, hit three 3-pointers in a span of 2 1/2 minutes, bringing the Aztes back from a 14-9 hole. Gutierrez had just gone out with his second foul with 14:08 left, and since then the Bears have been outscored 11-2. They have missed their past eight shots from the field. Gutierrez just checked back in.

14:41 1st H: Cal leads 10-9 in a game that already has featured six lead changes. SDSU is as advertised — very athletic, tries to block everything and Kawhi Leonard has a beautiful soft jumper. He’s 3 for 4 and has seven points. But Cal is running its offense well and getting its share of rebounds so far. Neither team has a turnover.

FACES IN THE CROWD: Former Arizona State coach Bill Frieder is on hand, no doubt to see his one-time Michigan assistant, Steve Fisher, now the Aztecs’ coach. Former Cal great Kevin Johnson, the mayor of Sacramento, just arrived. Also expected tonight are ex-Bears Shareef Abdur Rahim, now an executive with the Sacramento Kings, and Michael “Yogi” Stewart. This must be an important game.

STARTING LINEUPS: For the eighth straight game, the Bears will start Harper Kamp, Markhuri Sanders-Frison, Allen Crabbe, Gary Franklin and Jorge Gutierrez. The Aztecs’ starting five is Kawhi Leonard, Billy White, Malcolm Thomas, Chase Tapley and D.J. Gay.

WELCOME: Cal (5-2) faces its biggest challenge to date against visiting No. 14 San Diego State (8-0).  The Aztecs are dreaming of a spot in the top-10. Will be back in a few minutes with starting lineups.

Jeff Faraudo

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Nice choke job to a WAC team.

  • Uh Oh

    Now I know what dumb is.
    TCU is at the bottom of the WAC standings, for crying out loud. And Rider is in the, what?

  • Uh Oh

    Ha! We are both dumb.
    SDSU and TCU are in the Mountain West, not the WAC. But one of us is dumber than the other – just look at the standings.

  • Uh Oh

    No, what I really came here to say is that I thought Cal played a great first 25 minutes. The last 15, not so much. SDSU was very quick, played aggressive defense all over the floor, and we ultimately could not keep up with that pressure. Not enough depth, not enough skill to overcome by creating offense. As is usual, offense is hard to come by.

    But, like I said, they did a great job of staying with SDSU, and slowing them down, at the start.

    Franklin officially has a case of self doubt, now. You can see it. He resembled little like his confident gunner self from the first few games – even when he was missing often. Now he’s not sure what to do, and looks bad doing it. Bad drives, bad passes, turnovers, and still the occasional wild brick from deep. But now it’s ALL going wrong. Monty was right to put Carter in in his place. It’s okay. Franklin will rise from the ashes. But it’s going to be a long season.

    Crabbe appeared to be having a tough time adjusting to the pressure defense, but he came back with that nice pump fake, step-in jumper. And then also smart to get that easy one in the paint.

    Gut, Kamp, and MSF were simply battling the entire game. That’s senior leadership for you.

    Smith, again, couldn’t do anything offensively until the end when SDSU’s defense softened during junk time. But at least he’s able to control the ball, dribble up court, make passes and get the rest of the kids into an offensive flow.

    Bak and Solomon are just not ready for that level of intensity. The game is moving too quit for them, same experience for Franklin and a bit for Crabbe as well. Experience is all it’ll take.
    … Should take.
    … We hope.

  • LR

    No transition D, and 30-0 deficit from the 3-point arc. Game over.

    I don’t think Franklin was intimidated (he’s just clueless at this point), but Crabbe was. Couldn’t get off a shot and couldn’t drive. Understandable for a true freshman, but the hang-dog look and poor effort were disappointing.

    SDSU is a good team. Lots of poise and very good perimeter defenders. Too bad about their fans. They rank with the Oregons and Fresnos. Thoroughly excremental.

  • Dan

    As I posted a few days ago, Cal had no chance to beat the Aztecs, and they didn’t. The Aztecs just have WAY too much for a young Cal team. SDSU is legit, and they didn’t even have their “A” game tonight. If SDSU played tonight like they did at Gonzaga or against St. MAry’s, the Aztecs win by 30-plus.

    Much to criticize about the young Bears, but give credit where credit is due- the Aztecs are headed to the top 10 and might just be the best team in the western US- regardless of what conference they’re in. And it’s the Mountain West, to clarify. Which is a much better basketball conference this year than the Pac 10 is.

  • rollonubears

    gotta stop people from launching wide-open 3s. that’s what killed us. i didn’t realize they got ten and we had none. that’s awful. monty will fix this. we shouldn’t have won this game anyway, so it’s ok. it’s tough to watch this after so much success last year, but it should get better and better every week.

  • Mitchie V

    Transition D, as many of you have pointed out, is still subpar. Our team has been slow to pick up wide open shooters in all 3 of our losses.

    SDSU had their best player, Leonard, hounding Crabbe most of the night. I suppose that’s what Mr. Crabbe can expect the rest of his college career.

    Hope MSF (My Sore Feets?) is feeling better soon!