A full slate for Bears: Swim, track records, good day at NFL combine, Cal baseball’s first loss

Lots going on. We’ll get right to it . . .

   — Football: Punter Bryan Anger and OT Mitchell Schwartz say they were pleased with their perfomances Friday at the NFL combine camp at Indianapolis.

   — Baseball: The No. 20 Bears (3-1) lost for the first time, falling 7-3 to open a weekend series at Long Beach State.

   — Softball: Valerie Arioto pitched a four-hit shutout and the No. 1/3 Bears (9-0) whipped Fordham 5-0 at the Cathedral City Classic.

   — Swimming: Caitlin Leverenz broke a school record set by Natalie Coughlin, swimming the 200-yard individual medley in 1 minute, 52.43 seconds to finish second at the Pac-12 championships in Federal Way, Wash. Senior Liv Jensen defended her conference title in the 50 free with a 21.70 clocking.

   — Track and field: The foursome of Chelsea Reilly, Angelica Weaver, Sofia Oberg and Deborah Maier broke Cal’s school record in the distance medley relay (10:56.29) by more than 20 seconds to finish third at the MPSF indoor championships in Seattle. Linda Oseso broke her own mark in the weight throw (63-0 1/4) to place second.


Women’s basketball: Bears can clinch 2nd place

TIPOFF: Cal (21-7, 12-4 Pac-12) vs. Colorado (16-10, 5-10) at Haas Pavilion, Saturday, 2 p.m.

GAME THEME: The Bears have a 2 1/2-game lead over USC (9-6) in the race for second place and the No. 2 seed for the Pac-12 tournament. A Cal win or a USC loss will clinch the spot for the Bears . . . Two days after the Cal women beat Utah 60-46 — the same exact score the Cal men used to beat the Utes — the Bears try to complete a season sweep of Colorado. Layshia Clarendon scored 18 points in Cal’s 68-55 win at CU on Jan. 12.

NOTES: Two special promotions go with this game. It’s Cal’s Pink Game, and all fans wearing pink can purchase general admission tickets for $3. The game benefits the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, named for the late North Carolina State women’s coach. It’s also Cal’s Kids Day, with youth general admission tickets selling for $1

NEXT TIME: Stanford at Cal, Sunday, March 4, 6 p.m.


Basketball: Gutierrez could be 11th Pac-12 player with 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 400 assists

Not even Gary Payton did this.

But with 32 more rebounds, Cal senior Jorge Gutierrez would become just the 11th player in Pac-12 Conference history to accumulate career totals of at least 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 400 assists.

Gutierrez’s current numbers: 1,181 points, 468 rebounds, 404 assists.

There’s no guarantee Gutierrez gets the 32 rebounds he needs. The Bears have two regular-season games to play, then the Pac-12 tournament and, likely, the NCAAs. If that totals six games, for instance, he’d need to average 5.3 rebounds to get there.

Payton, the Oakland-born former Oregon State star, had spectacular college numbers, but didn’t get over the hump in all three categories: 2,172 points, 938 assists, but just 480 rebounds.

Here are the 10 current members of this exclusive club:

Donnie Boyce, Colorado:  1,995 points-644 rebounds-405 assists
Toby Bailey, UCLA :  1,846-670-458
Sean Elliott, Arizona: 2,555-808-451
Eddie House, ASU: 2,044-502-405
Luke Jackson, Oregon: 1,970-746-424
Ron Lee, Oregon: 2,085-580-572
Andre Miller, Utah: 1,618-643-721
Pooh Richardson, UCLA: 1,461-565-833
Luke Walton, Arizona: 1,179-662-582
Kyle Weaver, WSU: 1,162-570-465




Football: Ducks admit NCAA violations

Oregon has acknowledged in documents that it violated NCAA rules related to recruiting and the use of recruiting services.

The Register-Guard of Eugene wrote that Ducks used three scouting services in ways that did not conform with NCAA rules, and exceeded the permissible number of coaches involved in recruiting at any one time.

Here’s the potentially most serious stuff: The NCAA and Oregon “agreed that from 2008 through 2011, the scope and nature of the violations … demonstrate that the athletics department failed to adequately monitor the football program’s use of recruiting or scouting services.”



Basketball: Colorado wretched in loss to Stanford

The Buffaloes now longer are in position to catch the leaders this weekend . . .

   — Stanford 74, Colorado 50: The Cardinal (19-9, 9-7) beat the Buffaloes (18-9, 10-5) by more than 20 points for the second time this season. Stanford got 20 points from freshman guard Chasson Randle, outrebounded the Buffs 50-26 and held them to 21 percent shooting in the first half. CU fell two games behind Cal and Washington the loss column.

   — Arizona 70, USC 54: The Wildcats (20-9, 11-5) got 16 points from Kyle Fogg to move into third place. Freshman Josiah Turner added 15 points. The last-place Trojans (6-22, 1-14) got 18 points from freshman Byron Wesley. 

   — UCLA 66, Arizona State 57: The Bruins (16-12, 9-6) got 20 points from Lazeric Jones to beat the Sun Devils (8-20, 4-12).


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. 



Basketball: Utah scouting report

TIPOFF: 6 p.m. Thursday at Huntsman Center, Salt Lake City, Utah. TV: None. Radio: 910-AM.

Don’t expect the Golden Bears to hiccup on Thursday night at Utah. They know what’s at stake and understand the rematch with the Utes in Salt Lake City won’t necessarily be the walk-over they enjoyed in their 81-45 victory at Berkeley.

“Coach Montgomery’s not going to let us overlook anybody — it’s such a close race,” freshman David Kravish said. “Harper and Jorge aren’t going to let us overlook it.”

For seniors Harper Kamp and Jorge Gutierrez, this is a chance to inch closer to a second conference title in three seasons. Cal and Washington are tied for the Pac-12 lead at 12-3, each with three road games remaining.

Although there is no evidence of it in the win columnm, the Utes appear to be making some progress since Cal last time the Bears faced them.

“They played Colorado pretty tough at their place. That shows they’re playing a little better,” point guard Justin Cobbs said of the Utes’ 55-48 loss to Colorado. “All these games are must-win. If we want to win that championship, we can’t look past anything.”

Mike Montgomery seems comfortable his team will be ready.

“They know what their job is. For us, our margin of error is not appreciable,” he said. “We’ve got to have certain people perform, we’ve got to play good defense, or we’re going to have a tough time.”

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Women’s basketball: Bears close out at home

TIPOFF: Cal (20-7, 11-4 Pac-12) vs. Utah (13-2, 6-8) at Haas Pavilion, Thursday, 7 p.m.

GAME THEME: Cal returns home to close out the regular season with three straight at Haas Pavilion, where they are 11-2 this season. Colorado visits on Saturday. The Bears have a two-game lead over third-place Arizona State (18-8, 9-6) and can clinch that spot and the No. 2 seeding for the Pac-12 tournament with two wins this week. They end the season on Sunday, March 4 against Stanford.

NOTES: The Bears have their fifth 20-win season in the past six years, giving them 10 in the history of the program . . . Freshmen Reshanda Gray and Brittany Boyd continue to excel. Gray, a 6-foot-3 forward, is the third-leading scorer (10.7 ppg) among freshmen in the conference. Boyd, a point guard from Berkeley High, averages 10.0 points and 4.9 assists, the latter ranking her No. 2 in the Pac-12 . . . Cal’s RPI rating improved to No. 27 this week . . . Cal is outrebounding opponents at Haas by an 18.4 per-game margin.

NEXT TIME: Colorado at Cal, Saturday, Feb. 25, 2 p.m.


Basketball: Kidd passes MJ

Jason Kidd’s skills clearly are in decline — heck, the guy turns 39 next month.

But on Monday night he passed Michael Jordan for the No. 2 all-time spot in career steals. He had three in the Mavericks’ win over Boston and now has  2,517. MJ had 2,514. John Stockton is the all-time leader with 3,265.

Kidd, the former St. Joseph’s HS and Cal star, has assembled a remarkable NBA resume.

He is No. 2 all-time in assists (11,705) and No. 3 in 3-point baskets (1,826). He has more rebounds (8,312) than any guard to have played the game. 

Kidd has achieved his numbers through impressive durability over 18 seasons. He stands eighth all-time in minutes played (47,334) and should move past Reggie Miller, John Stockton and Wilt Chamberlain into fifth by the end of this season.

Although it’s always been his lowest priority, Kidd has scored 16,889 career points — more than Pete Maravich, Walt Frazier or Bill Russell.

And last season he finally got a ring.