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FINAL SCORE: Cal 71, Oregon State 68. A critical win for the Bears, who trailed by as many as 12 points in the second half. Coach Mike Montgomery won his 100th game at Cal, which improved tp 12-8, 4-4 in the Pac-12. OSU fell to 11-10, 1-7. Cobbs nailed the go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:48 left, then wrapped a pass around a defender to Richard Solomon for a dunk with 17.6 seconds left that iced it. Robert Thurman blocked a shot by Eric Moreland with 7.3 seconds left and the Beavers never could get off another shot. Crabbe shot just 5 for 16 but led the Bears with 15 points. Cobbs had 14 points and seven assists. The big men played well — Solomon with 12 points and seven rebounds, Kravish with 12 points and Thurman with eight points and six rebounds. The Bears had 25 assists on 30 baskets.
Thurman said the Bears are excited about Saturday afternoon’s game against first place Oregon. The 10th-ranked Ducks are coming off a 76-52 loss at Stanford. “The way wins are coming around, any win at this point is just great momentum,” Thurman said. “Stanford obviously showed Oregon is not invincible. We’re going to have a great crowd, I’m guessing. That game is going to be huge.”
– Montgomery said he had no news on the status of Jeff Powers, who injured his left knee in first-half collision with OSU’s Jarmal Reid.
3:35 2nd H: Thurman spike-tips miss by Crabbe and it’s 64-all. Thurman has eight points. Crabbe 13, Cobbs 11, Solomon 10. Nelson has 25 for OSU.
6:29 2nd H: A pullup jumper by Cobbs and Cal leads 60-59.
7:32 2nd H: A 3-pointer by Cobbs and Cal trails just 59-56.
10:42 2nd H: Game is wild and ragged. Cal trails 54-49. Bears have attempted a season-high 21 3-pointers. Still not a FT. Nelson has 23 points for OSU.
15:49 2nd H: Cal got within 41-36 when Cobbs hit a 3-pointer to open the half, but Roberto Nelson has helped the Beavers regain control. He hit a 3-pointer, and scored just now on a backdoor layup, was fouled by Brandon Smith and is shooting one FT. OSU leads 51-40. Cal has attempted 17 3-pointers, zero FTs.
HALFTIME SCORE: Oregon State 41, Cal 33. The Bears got within six when Brandon Smith hit a 3-pointer and Bak Bak curlined in a layup. But Ahmad Starks made a tough lean-in jumper with 1 second left in the half. Crabbe has 11 points for Cal, which is shooting 46.7 percent. Bears are 5 for 14 from the 3-point line and getting outrebounded 17-10. Roberto Nelson has 13 points and Joe Burton 10 for the Beavers, who are converting an even 60 percent.
2:09 1st H: Jeff Powers just collided with an OSU player and injured his left knee. Was helped off the court.
3:38 1st H: OSU leads 34-26. Cal got within 32-26 after a jumper by Kravish and a 1-pointer by Cobbs, but the Beavers answered with a layup by Joe Burton, who has 10 points. OSU continues to be very efficient — 61.5 percent from the field.
6:54 1st H: OSU’s zone defense and length inside bothering the Bears, who are getting little except shots from the perimeter. And why not? The Bears are last in the conference in 3-point accuracy at 31.2 percent. Tonight, Cal is 3 for 11 already from the beyond the arc, and Crabbe has all of them. OSU leads 32-21.
9:09 1st H: Monty not liking what he sees — calls timeout. OSU leads 28-18. Bears have missed layups on their past two possessions. Beavers shooting 65 percent. Cal down to 38 percent.
11:12 1st H: OSU leads 23-18. Cal settling for jumpers . . . and not enough of them are going in. Ball movement was good early. Not so much now. Crabbe has eight points, but has missed three of his past four shots.
13:39 1st H: A very fast clip so far. OSU leads 17-15. Cal shooting 58.3 percent (7 for 12) and the Beavers 66.7 percent (8 for 12). Richard Solomon has six points to lead Cal, but just picked up his second PF and will sit down. Crabbe already has five points and Wallace has dished three assists. Nelson has six points for the Beavers.
LINEUPS: Oregon State will start Ahmad Starks, Roberto Nelson, Jarmal Reid, Joe Burton and Devon Collier. Cal goes with Allen Crabbe, Justin Cobbs, Tyrone Wallace, David Kravish and Richard Solomon.
WELCOME: Back at Haas Pavilion tonight for the first time since Jan. 12 as the Bears (11-8, 3-4) face 11th-place Oregon State (11-9, 1-6). As senior Brandon Smith said Tuesday, this is a must-win for the Bears if they hope to achieve any of their goals. Of course, the same is no doubt true for the Beavers. Will be back with lineups.