Another second-half comeback by the Bears (16-13, 9-8 Pac-10), who clinch a winning record with an 87-76 victory at Oregon State.
Cal shot 72 percent (18 for 25) in the second half to outscore the Beavers (10-17, 5-11) 49-32 in the second half. Cal shot 62.5 percent in the second half vs. Oregon.
Just as they trailed by 16 in the first half of their Thursday win at Oregon, the Bears were down by 14 in the opening half of this one.
Here’s something from senior center Markhuri Sanders-Frison off the TV postgame:
“We got a little pep talk in the locker room (at halftime). We knew what to do,” said Sanders-Frison, the Portland native, who scored 16 points in his final trip home. Asked why the Bears have become a second-half team, he added, “We’re still trying to figure that out and get that out of our system.”
Cal can finish 10-8 in the Pac-10 with a win at home next Saturday against Stanford in the regular-season finale.
The Bears need four more wins to get coach Mike Montgomery his 13th consecutive 2o-win season, including his final 10 at Stanford. Won’t be easy, but possible. One scenario: beat Stanford, win one in the Pac-10 tournament, two in the NIT. Or: beat Stanford, win two in the Pac-10, one in the NIT.
The Bears remains alone in fifth place. Fourth-place USC (9-7) beat ASU 62-46 for its fourth straight win. Sixth-place Washington State (7-8) plays at Washington (10-5) on Sunday night.
In all likelihood, Cal has clinched a top-six finish in the league, which would earn them a bye into the Thursday quarterfinals of the Pac-10 tournament. Oregon (7-9) could still finish in a tie with Cal for sixth, but that would require the Bears losing to Stanford and the Ducks sweeping the Arizona schools on the road. Then a tiebreaker would settle the issue.
Lots of contributors for the Bears:
– Allen Crabbe hit 6 of 8 3-pointers and scored 26 points, 15 of them in the second half.
– Jorge Gutierrez shot just 1 for 5 from 3-point range, but had 14 points, nine assists, four rebounds, four steals and two blocks.
– Sanders-Frison shot 6 for 7 and had five rebounds while playing in front of several dozen family members, including a brother who flew in from Alabama.
– Harper Kamp scored 12 points on 4 for 6 from the field.
– Brandon Smith had nine points and eight assists.
– Richard Solomon came off the bench to score eight second-half points to go with five rebounds. He made all three of his field-goal attempts.
Here’s the game’s boxscore.
A loose and physical game that featured five technical fouls — four of them in one sequence with 11:54 left in the game. Smith and MSF were hit with “T’s” for Cal, Calvin Haynes and Joe Burton for OSU. It was the fourth personal on Sanders-Frison, setting the stage for Solomon’s big contribution.
After trailing 30-16 with 10 1/2 minutes left in the first half, Cal outscored the Beavers 71-46 over the final 28 1/2 minutes. Similarly at Oregon, the Bears dominated 57-31 over the final 26 minutes after falling behind 40-24 at Oregon.
Cal has won three in a row since Crabbe returned from 2 1/2 games out with a concussion. The Bears also pulled off their first Pac-10 road sweep, finishing at 4-5 away from home in the conference. And they beat OSU on the road for the first time in three tries under Montgomery.