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Basketball: ASU game thread

By Jeff Faraudo
Thursday, February 3rd, 2011 at 7:56 pm in Basketball, Gameday.

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.

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  • milo

    Wow, time to wake up Bears. I looked away for a bit and came back and ASU was up. No time to sleep or look ahead. I hope Monty has his kids focused in the second half and they come out rolling.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    I always prefer blowing a first half lead rather than a second half one, where the other team’s momentum is rolling toward game’s end. The team weathered the run and, I thought, did very well in the last 3 minutes of the half, save for a few failures to box out.

    ASU may have a tough time keeping that defensive intensity going throughout the second half. It’s a cliche, but even a 10 point come back can cause an adrenaline come down, especially when it happens in the first half.

  • Stapes

    This game does not have a good vibe at all. If Crabbe struggles, Cal really struggles against a zone.

  • milo

    Wake up Bears!

  • The Wisdom Cow

    [Sighs]

    McMillan just caught fire. ASU gets 9 points in like 25 seconds.

    At least there is time. I have not been as impressed by the ASU defense as the announcers. It’s good D, but we keep missing open looks. I think we’re rushing some of the shots thinking the D is closing as quickly as they did in the first half, even though they are not.

    Time to get deliberate with MSF inside.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Jorge on the verge of being a goat fingertips to Crabbe, who had been the goat. Boom! Four point lead.

  • Stapes

    That was ugly.

    The Arizona game will be a good test to see how good they are. They have eeked that last couple out, so this should be a challenge

    Gutierrez is the MVP of team clearly, but damn, he’s got to be the worst shooting guard in Division 1.

  • ondal

    worst shooting guard AND team MVP? awesome.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    It was a great win. Balanced out one of the losses from @AZ or @UCLA.

  • K1W

    Not pretty, but a W. This team has confidence. They go down 7 points on three straight ASU 3-pointers, and they kept playing their game plan. Jorge was like a magician, turning near turnovers into assists for key buckets. A game like this is great, immediately before playing Arizona.

    This ASU team doesn’t play like they are 1 and 9. They’ll probably beat Stanford. And how about OSU beating Washington (and Oregon beating WSU). This Pac-10 season is starting to look like last year, with any team able to beat any other team. If the Bears beat Arizona on Saturday, Cal will be just one game out of first place.

  • milo

    So the Bears finally closed when they had to. Ugly game.

    ASU knew Cal would be looking ahead, especially as UA’s conference travel pairing. Just enough talent at the right time to avoid an upset.

    Cal played UA tough in Tuscon, Bears can absolutely beat these guys if they play solid error-free ball and hustle.

  • Uh Huh!

    Cal wins again.
    “Ahhh, that’s the way, uh huh, uh huh, I like it!”
    See? I now even have my own theme song to go with the new ‘tude!
    In Monty I trust.

  • Uh Huh!

    Most interesting lineup:
    1: gut
    2: crabbe
    3: kamp
    4: Solomon
    5: msf

    and it didn’t work so well…