POST-GAME NOTES: Bears’ three perimeter starters combined for 22 assists and just four turnovers . . . Cal had 28 assists on 34 baskets, most assists in a game since 30 against Long Beach State on Dec. 28, 2007 . . . Cal’s biggest margin of victory over UCLA since a 92-63 win in 2001 . . . Gutierrez’s 16 points leave him at 997 for his career . . . Coolest second-half stat: 16 assists, 1 turnover . . . Happy New Year everyone.
FINAL SCORE: Cal 85, UCLA 69. Cal’s best half of the season — taking into account offense, defense and the stakes — and the Bears (12-3, 2-0 in Pac-12) close out the year with serious fireworks. The Bears complete their first home sweep of the L.A. schools in eight seasons. Allen Crabbe scored 20 points and had six assists and five rebounds. Gutierrez had 16 points and eight assists. Cobbs played terrific and had 13 points and eight assists with one turnover. Kravish played big against Joshua Smith and had a career-high 13 points. And seldom-used walkon Robert Thurman had a career-high 11 points (all in the second half) on 5-for-5 shooting. Was Cal’s biggest margin of victory over UCLA in 11 seasons. Cal had just one second-half turnover and shot 65.4 percent for the game.
7:52 2nd H: Cal’s lead is 69-51. Robert Thurman got into the act with a dunk and free throw, and Kravish dunked on the Bears’ next trip down. Cal is shooting 67.5 percent — 27 for 40. The Bears have just one turnover in the half. UCLA shooting 41.9 percent and has 13 turnovers — five in the half.
11:28 2nd H: Cal leads 62-45. Bears have scored 7-0 over the past 90 seconds, capped by a 3-pointer from Crabbe off a feed from Cobbs, who is playing much better than two nights ago. Cal has outscored the Bruins 22-6 this half.
15:54 2nd H: Cal has outscored the Bruins 13-2 to start the half, stretching its lead to 53-41. Bears playing much more aggressively on defense. UCLA is 1 for 4 shooting with three turnovers in the first 4-plus minutes of the half.
18:48 2nd H: Howland already calls a timeout, which means things are going well for Cal. Cobbs hits a 3-pointer and Crabbe converts a fastbreak layup off a pass from Cobbs and Cal leads 45-39. Bears are still playing man to man and Kravish is doing a nice job on Smith inside.
HALFTIME SCORE: Cal 40, UCLA 39. Travis Wear converts a putback with 2 seconds left and the Bruins pull within a point. Gutierrez has 12 points, Kravish nine and Crabbe eight. Cal shot 15 for 22 (68.2 percent) in the first half but had eight turnovers and gave up seven offensive rebounds. Tyler Lamb had 16 points for UCLA, David Wear 11. UCLA, which entered the game shooting 34.2 percent from 3-point range, was 5 for 7 from beyond the arc. No player on either team has more than two fouls.
1:16 1st H: Monty calls timeout — unhappy with past couple possessions. The Bears were lackadaisical on offense, gave up a couple offensive rebounds and suddenly it 37-35.
3:42 1st H: Gutierrez has scored six straight points for Cal and the Bears lead 35-30. Cal is shooting 72.2 percent — 13 for 18 — but cannot separate. Seven turnovers in the past 10 minutes by Cal and UCLA’s 4 for 4 from 3-point keeping it close.
7:14 1st H: UCLA outscored the Bears 8-2 to take a 25-24 lead, but Cal is now in front 26-25 after a layup by Kravish, who already has nine points — just three off his caraeer-high.
11:58 1st H: Crabbe’s second 3-pointer pushed Cal’s lead to 19-15. Smith picked up his first foul and was pulled immediately — after being back on the floor for just 1:15. Bears are shooting 8 for 11 — 72.7 percent. Turnovers: UCLA 4, Cal 0.
14:12 1st H: Crabbe just hit a 3-pointer off a pass from Gutierrez following a scramble of a fastbreak. Cal has scored six straight and leads 16-13. Smith coming back in for UCLA. The Bruins — ranked 10th in the Pac-12 in 3-point accruacy –is 3 for 3 from beyond the arc.
15:40 1st H: Cal has made 5 of 6 shots in a 10-10 tie. UCLA is 4 for 5 but has three turnovers. Cal has opened in a man defense with David Kravish on Joshua Smith — giving up at least 110 pounds! Kamp sags off David Wear to give Kravish some help. Smith already coming out at the break.
STARTING LINEUPS: Cal will go with the same group that started vs. USC — Jorge Gutierrez, Justin Cobbs, Allen Crabbe, David Kravish and Harper Kamp. UCLA will start Tyler Lamb, Jerime Anderson, Lazeric Jones, Joshua Smith and David Wear.
HAPPY NEW YEAR: Hope everyone is having a great day. We’re about 15 minutes from tipoff at Haas between Cal (11-3, 1-0 Pac-12) and UCLA (7-6, 0-1). I can tell you Richard Solomon remains on the sideline in street clothes. Alex Rossi will dress again and is cleared to play, but has practiced for less than a week. So don’t count on seeing him. But maybe soon.