FINAL SCORE: Cal 66, ASU 62. Allen Crabbe, who struggled all night, hit a 3-pointer off a frantic pass from Gutierrez with 13.5 seconds left and the Bears prevailed. Cal (13-9, 6-4) is alone in fourth place, one game back of UCLA and Washington, tied for second. The Bears play first-place Arizona (19-4, 8-2) on Saturday. Cal has won four in a row for the first time all season. Gutierrez was spectacular, contributing 18 points, seven rebounds, six assists, two steals and just one turnover in 39 minutes. MSF had 13 points and seven rebounds, Brandon Smith scored 11, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 4:35 left, Kamp had 10 points, seven rebounds and blocked Trent Lockett’s shot with 48 seconds left, and Crabbe scored 10. It was the first time this season all five Cal starters scored in double digits. ASU missed its final eight shots and did not make a field goal after hitting a third straight 3-pointer with 7:24 left.
4:28 2nd H: Cal has outscored ASU 9-1 over the past minute and a half and just took a 61-60 lead on a 3-pointer by Smith off a pass from Gutierrez, who was falling out of bounds under the basket.
6:29 2nd H: Same score. Cal has missed nine of its past 10 shots from the field and is 4 for 17 in the half against the Sun Devils’ matchup zone. Cal is at 40 percent for the game, ASU at 51 percent. This could be quite an opportunity lost if the Bears don’t recover.
7:24 2nd H: ASU has hit three 3-pointers in a row and leads 59-52. Kuksiks, McMillan, then Abbott hit from beyond the arc in a span of 56 seconds.
11:55 2nd H: ASU leads 50-46 after a 12-foot shot by Keala King as the shot clock buzzer was going off. Cal has gone back and forth from zone to man on defense, hoping to knock ASU out of rhythm. Crabbe looks like a guy who has lost a little confidence. MSF has 13 for Cal, Gutierrez has 12. Trent Lockett has 16 for the Sun Devils.
15:20 2nd H: ASU leads 46-43 after a well-defended bank shot by McMillan. Cal has switched to man defense, unhappy after another wide-open 3-pointer by the Sun Devils. Emerson Murray has come in for Crabbe, who isn’t getting much done on offense and isn’t as quick as a man defender. But Crabbe is coming back now.
HALFTIME SCORE: Cal leads 38-36 after two FTs by Gutierrez with 3.6 seconds left. He has 11 points. The Bears finished the half 13 for 25, which means they made only four of their final 15 attempts in the half. Sanders-Frison has eight points, Kamp and Smith each have six. ASU has done a good job keeping a hand in Crabbe’s face — he has three points. McMillan has nine points and Lockett eight for the Sun Devils, who are shooting an even 50 percent and have closed the rebounding gap to 14-12.
3:39 1st H: ASU has outscored the Bears 10-2 over the past 5 minutes and leads 30-28 after an open 3-pointer by McMillan. Cal is down to 55 percent shooting, meaning it has made 2 of 10 after starting 9 of 10. ASU holding steady at 50 percent. Sun Devils haven’t attempted a FT but are 6 for 14 from the 3-PT line.
7:37 1st H: Cal leads 28-22, but the Sun Devils are hanging around. Cal has cooled a bit to 64.7 percent (well, you’re gonna cool after starting at 90 percent). Richard Solomon came in with 12:20 left and has scored Cal’s last four points. ASU moving the ball better and finding seams in the Cal zone.
11:59 1st H: Cal made nine of its first 10 shots, scored on 10 of its first 11 possessions and leads 22-15. Bears are now shooting 75 percent (9 for 12). Gutierrez has nine points, MSF has six. Cal outrebounding the Sun Devils 7-1.
15:53 1st H: Score is tied 11-11 and no one is missing. Cal is 5 for 5, including a 3-pointer by Gutierrez, who has seven points. ASU is 4 for 4, including 3 for 4 from deep. We have played more than 4 minutes and there has been one (1) rebound.
17:28 1st H: Cal leads 8-6 and ASU just took timeout. The Bears have a dunk (MSF) and three layups (Gutierrez-2, Smith-1). ASU got a pair of open 3-pointers from Jamelle McMillan against the zone. See if Cal tightens up its defense.
THESE SCORES JUST IN: Arizona has moved into sole possession of first place after a 78-69 win at Stanford. Washington lost on the road for the second straight game, falling 68-56 at Oregon State. And Oregon blasted Washington State 69-43. A Cal win, and the Bears are within one game of second place. Weird.
STARTING LINEUPS: Cal will go with Markhuri Sanders-Frison, Harper Kamp, Allen Crabbe, Jorge Gutierrez and Brandon Smith. ASU will start Ty Abbott, Jamelle McMillan, Trent Lockett, Rihards Kuksiks and Kyle Cain.
WELCOME: Back at Haas Pavilion for Game 3 of this four-game Bears homestand. Cal (12-9, 5-4 Pac-10) faces last-place Arizona State (9-12, 1-8), which doesn’t automatically mean this will be easy for the home team. Cal beat ASU by only four points last month in Tempe, and the Sun Devils dropped games to USC and UCLA last week by a combined total of three points. Will be back with starting lineups.