Basketball: Cal-ASU leftovers

A few things that got lost in the wild finish, late hour or my brain Thursday night at Haas Pavilion:

— The Bears’ 66-62 victory over the Sun Devils was the definition of the team that’s accustomed to winning beating the team that’s been losing. A total of eight points has separated these clubs in two games, and Cal is five games ahead of ASU in the Pac-10 standings.

— Want more evidence? ASU made three 3-pointers in a span of 56 seconds to lead 59-52 with 7:24 left, then missed its final eight field goal attempts and scored only three more points.

— The play that turned the game around? How about Ty Abbott, a senior who ought to know better, fouling Cal freshman Allen Crabbe behind the 3-point arc with 4:56 left when Crabbe had made just one of eight shots to that point. Crabbe makes the first two FTs to get a little confidence, and when he misses the third, Cal gets the rebound and . . . Jorge Gutierrez, falling out of bounds under the basket, finds Brandon Smith for a 3-pointer that gives Cal the lead for good. A five-point play.

— Was the zone a failure? Well, the Bears gave up too many 3-pointers and when they switched the man they were much more aggressive. But in the first half, while playing exclusively zone, Cal committed just three fouls and stayed fresh. Harper Kamp had one foul and Markhuri Sanders-Frison none in a combined 36 minutes in the first half. They both finished with four after long stints of man in the second half.

— During Cal’s four-game win streak — its first of the season — Gutierrez is shooting 13 for 45 from the field. And he has 20 rebounds, 25 assists, eight steals, made 26 of 31 free throws, and played 141 of 160 minutes.

— The Bears had all five starters in double figures for the first time all season.

— Still no help from the bench: Four points and just 17 minutes. The starters were on the floor an average of  36 1/2 minutes apiece. Maybe that carries a pricetag on Saturday vs. Arizona, maybe it doesn’t. But Mike Montgomery said he’ll play the guys who can win the game and worry about the consequences later.

Jeff Faraudo

  • SteveNTexas

    There certainly was that feeling we were going to win even when down. Saturday should be interesting we certainly have the potential to beat AZ.

  • rollonubears

    first 5 minutes and last 5 minutes were some of the best ball cal has ever played. nice way to bookend some of the sloppiest hoops all year. bak and solomon seemed like they didn’t want to be there. crabbe was pretty much shut down. that strategy worked. we gotta defend a little better against the 3. other than that, az state played a good game, and we got a lot of calls, and a ton more free throws. nice win. i really was shocked at how well they played those first 5 minutes. if we catch arizona on an off day, we can beat them. go bears!

  • CALiforniALUm

    I think that price tag will be pretty expensive. By all accounts Jorge looked totally gassed by the end of the game. Keeping up this pace over the rest of the season does not bode well.

  • Beast Mode

    Jeff, why are you up at 2:29 AM posting on your blog about Cal hoops? Jk, love the coverage. We need more coverage. And when are you gonna get a twitter account like Okanes?

  • jeh

    Jorge gassed? He must look that way 10 times every game, throughout the game.

    Then he makes a play that no one else on the team can make, combining all his many skills and his unmatched energy and will, just when the team needs it most.

    I doubt that anyone on Cal’s schedule will see a worn out Jorge. He could fall victim to a substantial injury, of course. But a lack of energy? I cannot imagine it.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Monty just needs to be ready to switch between the zone and m2m more often, especially against many of the younger in the Pac.

  • Davidson

    Jorge wouldn’t be Jorge if he wasn’t gassed, about to pass out, throwing his body at his defender, but making defining, game-changing plays over and over and over again.

  • Uh Huh!

    Speaking of Jorge being tired…
    And how are these guys supposed to stay up and do serious homework after games like this?