TIPOFF: 8:30 p.m. Friday at Staples Center, Los Angeles. TV: CSNBA. Radio: 910-AM.
Having avenged a four-day old loss to Stanford, the Golden Bears now turn their attention to Colorado, which beat them one week before that.
“They’re a solid basketball team,” Cal coach Mike Montgomery said. “They match up well with us. We’ll have our hands full.”
After the Bears polished off Stanford 77-71 Thursday night at the Staples Center, the Buffs topped Oregon 63-62 when sophomore forward Andre Roberson scored on a putback with 13 seconds left.
CU and Cal split their two regular-season matchups, each winning at home. The Buffaloes stampeded Cal 70-57 in Boulder on Feb. 26, holding Jorge Gutierrez scoreless.
Gutierrez came alive Thursday — three days after being named Pac-12 Player of the Year. He scored 19 of his 22 points in the second half to help spark Cal’s win over Stanford.
Buffs coach Tad Boyle said Gutierrez isn’t the only Cal player that concerns him.
“They’re a great team. They’ve got a lot of good players, a lot of different weaspons,” Boyle said.
Fatigue is likely to be a factor for both teams. Colorado will be playing its third game in as many days, having opened Wednesday with a win over Utah.
Cal had not played until Thursday, but Montgomery used four of his starters at least 36 minutes to make sure the Bears got the win he believes puts them over the hump in the chase for an NCAA tournament berth. Cal’s reserves played a total of just six minutes in the second half.
Friday’s winner will face the survivor of the Arizona vs. Oregon State semifinal in Saturday’s 3 p.m. title game. Cal has reached the conference championship game twice — in 2006 and 2010 — but has never won the event.
THE SERIES: Cal leads 10-9, but Colorado has won two of the past three meetings.
MISCELLANY: Cal’s next victory — No. 25 — would be the most the program has achieved since going 28-2 in 1959-60, the year the Bears lost in the national championship game . . . Jorge Gutierrez’s 22 points were the most he has scored in a game since scoring 25 against Oregon State on Jan. 5 . . . Gutierrez needs 14 rebounds to become the 11th player in conference history to accumulate 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 400 assists for a career . . . With 1,211 career points, Gutierrez is just five points away from climbing past Doug True into the No. 20 spot on Cal’s career list.
Cal (24-8, 13-5 Pac-12)
|SF Allen Crabbe||6-6||So.||15.3||5.7|
|PF Harper Kamp||6-8||Sr.||11.5||5.2|
|PF David Kravish||6-9||Fr.||7.1||5.7|
|SG Jorge Gutierrez||6-3||Sr.||13.2||5.4|
|PG Justin Cobbs||6-2||So.||12.8||5.0*|
|G Brandon Smith||5-11||Jr.||3.0||2.3*|
|C Robert Thurman||6-10||Jr.||3.8||1.8|
|F Bak Bak||6-8||Jr.||1.8||1.3|
Colorado (21-11, 11-7 Pac-12)
|PF Andre Roberson||6-7||So.||11.5||11.2|
|PF Austin Default||6-9||Sr.||10.8||4.4|
|SG Spencer Dinwiddie||6-5||Fr.||10.3||3.6|
|SG Carlon Brown||6-5||Sr.||12.5||3.6|
|PG Nate Tomlinson||6-3||Sr.||5.8||3.2*|
|G Askia Booker||6-1||Fr.||9.1||2.8|
|C Shane Harris-Tunks||6-11||So.||2.8||2.1|
|G Sabatini Chen||6-4||Jr.||2.2||1.1|