TIPOFF: Cal (19-7, 10-4 Pac-12) vs. Oregon State (17-8, 8-6) at Gill Coliseum, Corvallis, Ore., Saturday, 2 p.m.
GAME THEME: The Bears can further solidify their hold on second place by knocking off the Beavers, whom they have beaten 11 straight times, including 73-56 in Berkeley back on Jan. 5. Cal dominated that game, up by 15 at halftime. OSU had won six in a row before losing 78-45 to. No. 3 Stanford on Thursday. Certainly, it cannot hurt the Bears that their Saturday opponent is always coming off a thrashing at the hands of one of the nation’s top teams. But first-year coach Lindsay Gottlieb’s squad has played solid, consistent ball all season.
NOTES: The Bears have won 10 of their past 12 games, triggered by their win over OSU at Berkeley . . . The Beavers have climbed to the middle of the conference standings this season after finishing last a year ago . . . Cal needs one victory to reach 20 wins for the fifth time in six seasons. The Bears already have exceeded their win total of 2010-11, when they were 18-16 . . . Cal and OSU are the Pac-12’s two worst free-throw shooting teams.
NEXT TIME: Utah at Cal, Thursday, Feb. 23, 7 p.m.