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Basketball: UCLA game thread

Click here for my game story.

FINAL SCORE: UCLA 79, Cal 65. The Bears (8-5, 0-1) drop their Pac-12 opener at renovated Pauley Pavilion. UCLA (11-3, 1-0) wins its sixth straight. Crabbe finished with 21 points to lead Cal, scoring 16 in the second half after shooting 2 for 9 in the opening 20 minutes.

Cal outrebounded the Bruins 45-37 and grabbed 20 off the offensive boards. But they turned those into just 10 second-chance points, finishing the game at 39.5 percent from the field. The Bears were without a 3-point basket for the second straight game, missing all 13 attempts. UCLA outscored Cal 12-0 from the 3-point arc and 23-5 at the FT line.

Justin Cobbs had 12 points and six assists, but shot 6 for 18. Richard Solomon had 11 points and 10 rebounds and David Kravish contributed nine points and 12 rebounds.

The Bears played without senior guard Brandon Smith (concussion) for the second straight game. Sophomore guard Ricky Kreklow, who had missed eight of the team’s first 12 games, played nine scoreless minutes before limping off the court for good early in the second half.

“It’s really hard right now. We don’t have a lot of options,” coach Mike Montgomery said afterward. “I thought the kids really competed and had we made a couple point-blank shots, it could have been a whole different outcome.”

UCLA freshman Kyle Anderson had 19 points and 12 rebounds for his fourth double-double, Shabazz Muhammad had 16 points and Travis Wear 15.
 
 
7:55 2nd H: Crabbe has scored eight of Cal’s past 10 points and the Bears are down just 58-53. Cal has possession after Thurman drew a charge on Shabazz Muhammad.

13:14 2nd H: Wallace scores on a nice drive and Cal is within 49-43.

17:27 2nd H: UCLA opens half with 8-2 run, fueled by two Cal turnovers, and leads 46-30. Bears are in danger of getting blown out in their first trip to the new Pauley.

HALFTIME SCORE: UCLA 38, Cal 28. The Bruins close the half on a 17-7 run to forge a 10-point lead. Cal shot 37 percent in the half, and was 0 for 6 from 3-point. Crabbe was 2 for 9 and had five points in 19 minutes. Cobbs was 3 for 9 and scored six. That’s 5 for 18 for the Bears’ two best players. Travis Wear scored 11 points for UCLA, which shot 41.2 percent.

5:05 1st H: Solomon just missed a 3-pointer (why?) and Travis Wear answered with a 16-footer for UCLA, which is on a 9-2 run and leads 30-24.

7:54 1st H: UCLA leads 23-21. Cal was outscored 6-0 over 2:46, allowing Bruins to take 19-14 lead. But drive and FT by Crabbe and layup by Thurman got the Bears even. Cal shooting 10 for 21, but 0 f0r 4 from 3-pt; UCLA 9 for 21, 3 for 8 from deep.

11:47 1st H: Kreklow and Thurman into the game for Cal a couple minutes ago. Bears lead 14-13 on putback by Thurman. Bruins outscoring Cal 9-0 from 3-point arc and 2-0 from FT line. Otherwise, Cal has 14-2 edge. Bears going inside effectively.

15:51 1st H: Bruins finally scored on jumper by Travis Wear after starting 0 for 6. Cal leads 8-5.

17:38 1st H: Cal jumps to 6-0 lead, prompting timeout by Bruins. UCLA is shooting 0 for 4 with 2 turnovers.

LINEUPS: Cal will start Richard Solomon, David Kravish, Tyrone Wallace, Allen Crabbe and Justin Cobbs. UCLA goes with Shabazz Muhammad, Jordan Adams, Kyle Anderson,  Travis Wear and Larry Drew II.

KREKLOW UPDATE: He is warming up, after all. But from where we’re sitting (virtually at the top of the joint) I didn’t recognize him with his new, shorter haircut.

WELCOME: Here at the newly renovated Pauley Pavilion (Nice, I guess, but hardly an earthshaking change) for tonight’s Pac-12 opener between Cal (8-4) and UCLA (10-3). Senior G Brandon Smith (concussion) remains out for the Bears. Sophomore G Ricky Kreklow (foot) was expected to dress, but did not see him warming up.

Jeff Faraudo

  • wehofx

    Finally seeing the motion in Monty’s motion O!

    and that’s the Crabbe I’ve waiting to see. he’s benefiting from some home cooking.

    Ballin’

    Go Bears!

  • Joey

    All I have to say is CU got screwed by the crap ass PAC 10 refs.

  • SteveNTexas

    Well we will win the next game at USC clearly the worst team in the Pac12.

  • gobears49

    Agree motion offense was much improved than before. But it looks like UCLA has better players than we do, overall. Primary problem is that we’re still too week up front.

  • gobears49

    “weak”

  • rollonubears

    horrible game, from the sound of it. 0-13 from 3? that’s an embarrassment. 23-5 from from the free throw line tells me it was 5 on 7 as usual for the bears on the road. Pac 12 officials are a disgrace to the game, and this team is just too hard to watch. at 11pm eastern, they’re impossible to watch. NIT, if we’re lucky. such a shame. next year might be better with two good recruits coming in and maybe some health for a change. just sit kreklow for the rest of the year and let him heal. they’re just making him worse, and he’s not bringing anything to the team in his injured state anyway. go bears.

  • SteveNTexas

    Well let’s make excuses for un-ranked UCLA. too young. Turmoil – another player transferred out this week. I’m sure some players had injuries. Oh wait UCLA won!

    Cal is 0-5 v Top 50 teams.

    On the positive side USC is 0-7 vs Top 50 teams.

  • Mitchie V

    Colorado was screwed. That was terrible.

    Any news on Ricky’s foot?

  • Picard

    I hate to say it, but we just don’t have the players necessary to compete with upper echelon teams.

  • Dan

    To me, the worst part of all this is this team just doesn’t play like a Mike Montgomery coached squad. Not sure I’d that is actually on Monty, or the players. Likely both.

    A few random thoughts-

    Cobs does not finish well at the rim- in fact, both he and Crabbe do not take it to the rim hard enough, and as a result they frequently don’t finish, and then also don’t get to the line for either 2 free throws or and an “and one”.

    Solomon is very frustrating on the offensive end. First of all, why does he think he can EVER take a 3 point shot? Also, he hands, fundamentals, deftness shooting are all weak. Also, when the team really needs a bucket, they go down low to him for a shot, which is usually not successful.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    C’mon, Monty. Brandon Smith would have been the difference?

  • discdude

    > Solomon just missed a 3-pointer (why?)

    To me, the turning point. It was a close game until he did that, he missed and UCLA ran it up. Horrible choice and so totally and completely selfish. Cobbs, as the leader at point, should have gotten into his face. Even without the horses to complete with UCLA, they could have stayed close and maybe had a chance to sneak away with the win.

    Kreklow seems done for the year now, I think they (Monty, Kreklow and the team) need to resign that he’s not going to be effective and there’s no reason for him to be out there. Heal up and look at next season. It’s like Franklin leaving, once it happens, you move on and sometimes it gets better.

    Lots of good comments above. This still seems like a “rebuild” year at this point, about a 3rd to 5th place team, likely.

  • Eric

    Third place gets us into the tournament, and I don’t see this as a third place squad. Arizona, UCLA, and Colorado already seem significantly better than Cal.

  • wehofx

    DiscD, agree. Solo’s 3 pointer marked the beg of the end. up to that point I thought we had a real shot at winning the game.

    I’m sure Monty consulted w team physician but Kreklow looked terrible. He’s got guts and we sure could use his smarts, D, jumper and assists but for his own good, time to shut him down for the year.

    also agree a lot of good comments above so I’ll point out the positives.

    guards fed the post. solo and krav are starting to assert themselves. solo: double double, no whining or tantrums, not a great finisher – 4 for 13 – but I remain optimistic. krav: 4 for 9, 12R.

    It seems like they both missed/fumbled a number of point blank shots and rebounds.

    crabbe is finally driving to the cup. Could he do more? Yeah. But give the guy a break, he’s LEADING the pac 12 in scoring.

    Cobb is going through 2nd year blues and figuring out how to adjust to being the man w Crabbe.

    The team finally showed heart in battling back in the 2nd half down 16(??).

    Agree 4/5 place team. but the 0 from 3 point line, when we get hot, we’re going to smoke a top team.

    Shabuzz didn’t impress me like Bennet and McDermott(sp).

    the player who impressed the hell out of me was “SloMo” Anderson. The Big Fundamental. He also showed our weakness in the low block.

  • gobears49

    Another positive is that I think we had more guys on the floor diving for balls than in prior games. I previously mentioned that this should be a team stat, even without taking into account who ended up with the ball. It is a “heart” stat. Shows desire. We showed a lot more of it last night, even though we lost.

  • gobears49

    If we beat USC, the L.A. swing will not cost us much and will keep up in the hunt for a top 3 finish in the Pac-12. A loss to USC would be pretty devastating to our chances to make the NCAA’s by putting us too much into a hole.

  • SteveNTexas

    Gobears – Not to biased are you? Most Pac 12 teams will win at USC which is ranked around 150.

    Dan you say we didn’t play like a Montgomery coached team — but maybe it was the players..

    Who do you think got us these players?

    Our chance to make the NCAA’s is to hope everyone else in the Pac12 really sucks.

  • Esquire Joe

    If you saw the Cal squad that finished last season absolutely dragging, there are a lot of troubling similarities with this current team. Lack of depth is just killing the Bears.

    Sure, 0-fer from 3pt land might just be an off night, but it’s been two games of 0-fer. That tells me that the shooters might not have the legs they should. Either to get open on the perimeter or to get their shots off quickly.

    Same with Crabbe’s and Cobbs’s drives to the bucket last night. Crabbe had a couple of really nice drives in the first half, but toward the end, I think his lack of finishing power and accuracy was at least partly due to a lack of strength/stamina. They shouldn’t have been intimidated by anyone in the middle for UCLA.

    You can’t be too disappointed in Kravish’s progress. He doesn’t seem to lack effort, but I think he’s battling his own physical limitations. Somebody get BALCO on the line and feed that kid some growth hormone or something. Among the starters, it’s obviously Solomon who’s the real disappointment. He shows such brief flashes, but otherwise he still seems like he’s either thinking his way through every move or (worse) not thinking at all and turning the ball over or taking a brainless 20 footer.

    The sad part is that it’s only January. It’s going to get worse, unless something quite unexpected happens.

    Wallace has been a more-than-pleasant surprise. With his fast start and the effort he shows, I’m excited to see him mature. But given the injuries and lack of front court depth, this team is still at least three productive players away from even being able to perform up to its own talent level on a consistent basis.

    I’m thinking that 4th place would be a very good result for this team, but even if that were to happen, I doubt that gets us into the NCAA tourney. NIT seems like a more appropriate goal.

  • gobears49

    SteveNTexas,

    Most Pac-12 team fans expect their team to beat USC — but “bias” has nothing to do with that. Just pure expectation. I think “bias” is the wrong word to use.

    I wouldn’t get “to” (to quote you) upset over my comments.