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Basketball: Bears top OSU, clinch winning season

By Jeff Faraudo
Saturday, February 26th, 2011 at 5:48 pm in Basketball, Gameday.

 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.

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  • Calfan

    Nice game Bears! Too bad Comcast decided to cut out of the game with four minutes left and switch to the Kings game. Lousy TV coverage, again. Jorge looked tired but the pushing match seemed to spark the bears. Adelante Jorge, y arriba osos!

  • LR

    I don’t understand Robinson. He faced a team with the shallowest bench in D1 late in the season and consistently settled into a long, drawn-out half court set in the second half. The frantic pace and effort was really paying dividends for OSU in the first half.

    I’ll take the gift, but I still don’t get it. I tend to agree with the ESPN guy who thinks he’s a crap coach.

  • H8sRed

    Yeah, but their AD won’t fire him because he doesn’t want the coach’s brother in law to ship him off to Gitmo.

    Jeff- if Cal and Oregon end up tied, wouldn’t Cal win the tiebreaker by virtue of their season sweep of Oregon?

  • Bob49

    That Crabbe sure is a sweet shooter. A starting shooting guard in the NBA for sure. I predict his jersey will eventually be hanging from the Harmon rafters.

  • K1W

    I’m glad the Bears get a few extra days of rest before their next (and final) Pac-10 game, before the post-season starts. Excellent workmanlike win @OSU. Once the Bears closed to six points at the half, I felt pretty confident they would come through with a W. Go Bears, Beat the ‘furd.

  • Uh Huh!

    Bob49: Crabbe sure can shoot it, but he does need to develop his in between game, get stronger, play defense before being able to even compete at the NBA stage. The men in the NBA would tie him up in a knot at this point. He has a lot of growth yet to do, so it will be nice to see him do that as a Bear.

    CalFan: I feel your pain. I have lost the ends of at least 5 games this year for various TV technical reasons!

    H8sRed: Yes, I think it seemed like genius at the time to bring in Robinson, the President’s brother. Think of the recruiting possibilities! However, maybe they didn’t think of the downside. How does one fire a guy like that. Tough call. What I don’t understand is how that quirky zone worked so well his first season, and so badly now.

  • Uh Huh!

    Can we all agree that the 4 technicals were really silly?
    Although, you have to agree, there was no more silliness after that point. And that’s gotta be a refs primary goal – to keep the game from getting out of hand.

    I feel bad that MSF had to sit all that time and not let his family watch him play.

    Why did Cunningham flail like a 98 pound weakling when both Kamp and Smith bumped him? I didn’t think either was malicious or excessive play by any stretch. Instead, it was like his midsection was made of jello, allowing him to fold like a paper doll. Biased for Cal though I may be, Burton’s forearm shiver to Smith’s face was a thing of beauty. If you’re going to cal T’s on the 4T play, then Burton gets one there for sure!

    The way Burton and Cunningham handled those two plays, and the way they simply found a way to lose, speaks poorly of Coach Robinson’s leadership this season. And yes, all eyes are on that now after the SI blogger story. When it rains, it pours, right? I think it’s about time the Prez went to Corvalis in support. Where has the Pac10 love been, Mr. President???

  • Yoda

    Cunningham behaved like a little prima donna. Kamp put a hip into him to box out and blasted the little twerp out of the way, mostly because Cunningham was standing around with his back to the play instead of looking for the rebound or getting to where he should have been. Instead of accepting it for what it was, he retaliates with the weakest little girl punch I’ve seen. It was both stupid and funny.

    I’m not sure what Smith was doing when he popped Cunningham, and I don’t like it. The 4 techs were the right call under the circumstances, but I agree that Burton should have gotten one for the elbow to the head.

    OSU looked very well coached in the first half, lost all semblance of discipline in the second. I read that SI blog and I think he overstated Robinson’s inabilities and understated the selfish nature of some of his players. Perhaps he needs to control that better but they were shooting lights out on assists and great passing in the Princeton offense and then just quit passing. Calvin Haines is a black hole.

    Good win for the Bears, great amusement factor for viewers, CSN sucks for showing the Kings in my region and forcing me to watch a non-HD version for the end.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    The technical on MSF was quite a stretch, but I don’t mind the refs going to the replay to get the cheap shots and escalations instead of just calling a foul on the guy they see retaliate. For so long, that has been the way it happens, and everyone is just used to it – a cheap shot gets responded to by a push and the guy who pushes gets T’ed up.

    If this becomes the norm, cheap shots finally begin to subside. I can’t wait for the first player ejection.

    Big Brother is watching, well, as long as he pays extra for CSNBA+. My complaint was responded to with apologies and a boiler plate paragraph regarding “blackout” rules. After a heavy sigh, I replied reiterating my complaint and explaining exactly why the “blackout” paragraph did not apply.

    I gave them too much rope last year. The cable company changed hands many times, so I put up with this crap a few times over Giant coverage on the + channel, which used to get switched to a channel meant for public access. No more. It should come to a head by the time the next Giant game gets switched over, with post WS viewership likely to increase.

  • Bears

    The Cal season is about one game now. Play and beat stanford.
    We got slapped by them to start Pac 10 play at their place. It’s time for the team to get a big win over our rival and send MSF out right on senior day.
    Big game coming up 4pm saturday at Haas!
    Go Bears!

  • Jeff Faraudo

    Yes, Cal would win a straight tiebreaker with Oregon because the Bears swept the head-to-head series. But it’s unlikely Cal and Ore will end up tied because the Ducks must play at Arizona. Breaking a tie with either USC or WSU would require going beyond the head-to-head (where they split in both cases) to how they did against the teams above them in the standings, starting at the top. Since we don’t know yet who will finish first, second or third, that would be complicated guesswork.

  • jeh

    I just want to thank Jeff F. for the finest and most intelligent coverage of the Bears in the Bay Area once again this year.

  • Eric

    Jeff@12 – absolutely agree 100%. Straight up good (and appropriately funny) reporting.

    I don’t know X’s and O’s in b-ball like I claim to know in football, but I give huge credit to Monty. After winning the title last year and losing all of the starting scoring, then losing one starter because he decided to bail, and then losing another starter for 3 straight Pac-10 games, and playing the likes of SDSU, Kansas, Notre Dame, and Temple, for the team to finish at least above .500 says a lot about coaching. We didn’t always pull out close wins earlier in the season, but the team is playing great down the stretch, and we may even catch a break in the Pac-10 tournament.

    NIT is a very good result this year.

  • woodside cal

    another great game,montgomery great second half coach. (disagree with him not fouling when up by three with 10 secs. left…cost us one game and almost another…. too bad we lost those close games and when crabbe was out. an invite might have been in order

  • Uh Huh!

    NIT is a GREAT result!
    Oh yeah!

  • milo

    Over .500 in conference and a winning season is a success in my book given 4/5th of the starting line-up left.

    Next season looks bright with Gut, Kamp, Crabbe, Solomon, Smith and the other frosh. Lets hope the bench develops and there’s depth. NIT is extra and looks like a good possibility.

    Go Bears!

  • K1W

    @ Milo

    Don’t forget those non-freshman new guys, Justin Cobbs and De’End Parker. And I want to see 6-10 Rob Thurman do some of those “best on team” dunks in a real game. The Bears may even be called “deep” next year.

    This year’s Bears are finishing strong. I think they might get to 20 (W’s).

  • Uh Huh!

    Jeff:

    Do you know what the permutations are for Cal finishing either 4th or 5th?
    So long as UCLA can win at WSU, it looks like Arizona and UCLA are going to finish 1-2, which would leave UW in 3rd. If we take 6th, that would match us up against UW, which would be tough! But if we can grab 5th, then we’d get a matchup against either WSU or or USC. Hmmm.

    Arizona 12-4
    UCLA 12-4, plays @ the Wash schools
    Washington 10-6
    USC 9-7, plays @ the Wash schools
    California 9-8, hosts Stanford
    Washington State 8-8
    Oregon 7-9, plays @ the Ariz schools
    Stanford 7-10
    Oregon State 5-11, plays @ the Ariz schools
    Arizona State 2-14

    I’m going to say AZ wins both to claim 1st.
    UCLA beats WSU to get 13 wins.
    UW beats both UCLA and USC to end with 12 wins.
    Cal beats Stanford for 10 wins.
    WSU and USC is a toss up and the winner gets to play Cal in the 4-5 spot, while the loser has to match up against UW in the 6-3 spot.
    Not sure if Cal would take 4th or 5th, depending on tie breakers, which I haven’t figured out, but now realize it doesn’t matter.

    Okay…. thanks…

    And, oh, do you know where they sell any edible hats?

  • Dave

    Cunningham is soft…was in high school and still is. He flopped when Kamped boxed him out, and When Smith came up behind him. If you can’t tell the difference, then keep enjoying the WWE.

    Enjoyed this weeks games! Hoping we stick it to the FUrd