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FINAL SCORE: Cal 77, Arizona 69. Crabbe finished with 31 points, seven rebounds and five assists and the Bears (14-9, 6-5) beat the No. 7 Wildcats (20-3, 8-3) in Tucson for just the second time since 1994-95. Justin Cobbs added 21 points, and the two combined for 36 second-half points. Cal defeated a top-10 opponent on the road for the first time since beating No. 9 Washington State 69-64 on Jan. 31, 2008. The Bears hadn’t beaten a team ranked so high since a 76-69 overtime win vs. No. 3 UCLA in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 tournament on March 18, 2007. And yet, it was the Bears’ second win in eight days over a top-10 foe, on the heels of knocking off then-No. 10 Oregon 58-54 at home.
2:00 2nd H: Cobbs and Lyons exchange 3-pointers and Cal’s lead is 71-69. Great game. Cobbs has 17. Bak Bak has six points. Honest.
4:51 2nd H: Crabbe hit a step-back 3-pointer for a 64-57 lead, but Arizona has scored back-to-back baskets and trails just 64-61. Crabbe has 29. His career high is 33.
7:46 2nd H: Cal lead is 61-55. Crabbe has 26 points, six rebounds, five assists. One of the best games of his career. Is shooting 1o for 13 from the field. And playing aggressively.
12:00 2nd H: Ain’t over yet. Crabbe made his FT and it was 50-40, but Arizona has outscored the Bears 9-2 since and Cal’s lead is down to 52-49. Place is VERY loud.
15:35 2nd H: Cal in midst of 14-0 run and leads 49-40 after 3-pointer by Crabbe. He was fouled by Nick Johnson and will shoot 1 FT after the time. Cal has outscored the Cats 16-2 in the half. Crabbe already has 10 points in the half. Bears have not missed a shot in the half — 5 for 5 from the field, 4 for 4 from the FT line. Arizona is shooting 1 for 9 in the half.
17:49 2nd H: A give-and-go layup by Crabbe, and a jumper and two FTs by Cobbs, and Cal has pulled within 40-39. Sean Miller calls timeout.
HALFTIME SCORE: Arizona 38, Cal 33. Cal has faced a couple opportunities where the game could have gotten out of reach, and the Bears didn’t let it happen. Back to back 3-pointers by Hill and Lyons gave Az a 36-27 lead with 1:57 left, but Cal outscored the Cats 6-2 the rest of the way to close within five. Cobbs and Crabbe scored fastbreak layups off Arizona turnovers in the final 1:10. Cal shooting 53.6 percent (15 for 28) in the half, but just 1 for 6 from 3-pt and has eight turnovers. Arizona at 42.3 percent (11 for 26) but has made 6 of 10 3-pointers. Cats outscoring Cal 10-2 at the FT line. Crabbe with 12 points to lead Cal, Hill has 11 for Arizona.
3:53 1st H: Arizona’s lead reached 28-19 after a 3-pointer by Kevin Parrom, but baskets by Crabbe and Solomon got Cal within 28-23. It’s now 30-25. Crabbe picked up his second PF at 6:18 and took a seat at 4:16. Arizona has outscored Cal 10-0 at the FT line, and has 13 FTAs to zero for the Bears. Kravish, Solomon and Crabbe each with two PFs.
8:47 1st H: Arizona has pushed out to a 21-15 lead. Ex-Bishop O’Dowd HS star Brandon Ashley made two free throws after rebounding a missed FT by Solomon Hill, then Hill hit an open 3-pointer after Cal went to a zone defense.
11:25 1st H: Cal and Az tied at 15-all. Bears are playing fast and aggressive. Working hard on defense. Six turnovers already — a problem. Arizona accomodating Cal by taking quick jumpers. Monty already using his bench — Robt Thurman, Brandon Smith and Bak Bak already have been on the floor — and Bak has a basket.
15:32 1st H: Cal leads 8-7 at the first timeout. David Kravish has scored twice in transition — no doubt Az coach Sean Miller suggesting his team retreat on defense better. Potentially tough matchup looming for Bears: Crabbe asked to defend Solomon Hill, a bit bigger and stronger.
LINEUPS: Cal will start David Kravish, Richard Solomon, Allen Crabbe, Tyrone Wallace and Justin Cobbs. Arizona goes with Mark Lyons, Nick Johnson, Kaleb Tarczewski, Brandon Ashley and Solomon Hill.
WARMUPS: The Wildcats emerge from the locker room wearing warmup outfits that include hooded sweatshirts. OK. Perhaps just in case the Pac-12 schedules them to play a game outside?
WELCOME: I will be at McKale Center for today’s 4 p.m. PT tipoff vs. No. 7 Arizona. So check back for my in-game thread.
Here are a couple scary numbers related today’s game:
1) Cal is No. 75 in the RPI rankings, Arizona No. 6. The Bears are 1-9 this season against top-100 RPI teams.
2) The Bears are 1-15 at McKale Center since 1995-96. Cal won at Tucson in 2008-09.
I’ll be back after my 117-mile drive from PHX to Tucson.