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Basketball: Bears inch into sole Pac-12 lead

Cal’s workmanlike 60-46 win over Utah gives the Bears (23-6, 13-3) a half-game lead on idle Washington atop the Pac-12 standings.

“We have to grind,” Mike Montgomery said afterward. “We have to defend. We have to match other people’s physicality if we can. That’s just the way we have to play.”

Especially when the ball isn’t going down. Cal shot just 40.4 percent, made 2 of 11 from the 3-point line and got only three points from leading scorer Allen Crabbe, who was 0 for 6 from the field.

Cal beat Utah (5-22, 2-13) by 36 points in Berkeley last month, but the Utes have improved and figured out how they want to play. Which is, they want to slow it down, ugly it up. And on those counts, they were successful against the Bears.

But they turned the ball over 17 times, shot just 34.8 percent and could not slow down senior Harper Kamp, who had 17 points,  seven rebounds and five assists.

Cal has won six straight conference games, equaling a stretch it enjoyed two seasons ago while capturing its first league title in 50 years. A win Sunday at Colorado would give the Bears a seven-game conference streak for the first time since 2002-03.

Colorado, meanwhile, played probably its worst game of the season, falling 74-50 to Stanford. The Buffaloes, picked 10th in the league, were hoping a win over Cal could keep alive their chances of winning the Pac-12 title.

Now they are two games behind Cal and Washington in the loss column with just three to play.

The Buffaloes, who had lost just once in 14 previous home games, will play better Sunday. Cal will need to, also. 

 

Jeff Faraudo

16 Comments

  1. Thurman! Cal up 16-12. half-way through the first half. Thurman with 6, Kamp with 6.

  2. Cal up by 12 (35-23) at the end of the first half. Cobbs with a buzzer-beater 3-pointer. Kamp has 9. The Bears shooting poorly, but the Utes have 11 turnovers.

  3. With about 10 minutes left, Utah on a 7-0 run, Cal lead is down to 9. The Bears lacking a sense of urgency…

  4. Cal 49, Utah 39
    7:12 left

    Crabbe / Cobbs: 3 points each
    It’s probably good that this game isn’t televised!

  5. The Bears come out of hibernation, lead back up to 14 (55-41). Under 4 minutes to go…

  6. If Crabbe can raise his game March could be special for the Bears. Hope he finds it Sunday in a huge game in Boulder. Those guys took it to us when they played us at Haas. We better be ready for what they do this time and take it to them this time.
    Need two more W’s to get that Championship!
    Go Bears

  7. another yahoo live boxscore. Kamp, Gutierrez and Kravish stood out

  8. Stanford looked really good, but it was partly because they were white hot from outside (a pace they can’t sustain) and because Colorado just kept driving into the middle and getting shots blocked instead of working for better shots. For once, Stanford’s depth helped them.

    I’m nervous about each of the next two games though. The good news is WA has three to play.

  9. At least the game on Sunday will be televised. It is difficult to understand how the new conference tv network will be viable if the existing sports networks don’t think there would be enough of an audience for the games they keep passing on this season.

  10. I think the fox networks are giving more exposure to the other conferences this year because that’s all they’ll have next year.

  11. Covinared-
    Or, perhaps the fox networks don’t think the pac 12 can draw an audience?

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