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Basketball: Colorado game thread

Click here for my game story.

FINAL SCORE: Cal 62, CU 46. Bears win seventh straight — longest conference streak since 2003 — and ninth in 10 games. Cal now 20-9, 12-5 in the Pac-12 and has clinched a top-four spot, meaning it won’t play until quarterfinals of the conference tournament. Still just one game out of first place. Stats: Wallace with 16 points and 11 rebounds, Kravish 14 and 11, Cobbs 16 points, five assists and Crabbe 8 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists. Cal outscored CU 44-12 in the paint, outrebounded Buffs 46-36, blocked seven shots and held visitors to 23.1 percent (15 for 65) from the field, including 20.6 percent in the second half. Not a perfect game, but considering the Buffaloes have been the biggest thorn in their side, pretty close.

Update: Cal’s seven blocks boosts its season total to a school-record 138. The 1996-97 team swatted 135 shots.

Update II: Arizona provides Bears no help at UCLA. Bruins win 74-69 to move into tie for 1st with Oregon at 12-4, leaving Cal one-half game back, but alone in third at 12-5. Arizona drops to 11-6.

5:32 2nd H: A driving layup by Cobbs and a putback dunk by Kravish and Cal leads 48-39. Crabbe has four points and the Bears are up 9. Defense works.

7:13 2nd H: A 42-37 lead for Cal. Solomon is on the bench with four fouls — and he was playing well. Wallace revved up the crowd with a spectacular driving dunk with 9:11 left. New football coach Sonny Dykes sitting in the end zone with his wife and daughter. Good game.

11:42 2nd H: Back-to-back baskets in lane by Wallace — who has 10 points — and Cal leads 38-31. Cal defense still very good — Buffs shooting 27.9 percent.

13:56 2nd H: Cal leads 32-30 after open 3-pointer by Xavier Johnson. Solomon playing like a beast for Cal — has scored team’s past six points, including  a pair putbacks in traffic. Cal with 27-22 rebounding edge, but CU has grabbed 10 from offensive boards.

HALFTIME FROM SEATTLE: Cal women 39, UW 28. A win by Bears clinches a share of their first-ever conference title with Stanford. Cardinal already beat WSU.

HALFTIME SCORE: Cal 24, CU 20. A 3-pointer by Sabatino Chen with 2 seconds left — after Wallace left him to try for a steal elsewhere — and the Buffs pull within four points. Still, Cal outscored the Buffs 10-8 over the final 5:11 after Crabbe left the game with his third foul. Cal holding CU to 8 for 31 shooting – 25.8 percent. Bears have a 19-18 overall rebounding edge — and have blocked three shots — but CU has seven offensive rebounds worth four 2nd-chance points. Kravish, Cobbs and Wallace each with six points for Cal. Season-low first-half point total for Colorado.

0:41.3 1st H: Cal leads 22-17 — was 22-15 following an 8-0 run (all w/o Crabbe on floor).

3:52 1st H: Monty put Crabbe back in with 6 1/2 minutes left and went to zone, perhaps partly to protect him. But Andre Roberson picked up a foul on a nice dribble-drive move and Crabbe went to the bench with No. 3 at 5:11 left. Roberson scored on a putback with 4:46 left and CU leads 15-14. Buffaloes shooting just 24 percent (6 for 25) but have five offensive rebounds. 

7:24 1st H: Cal leads 14-8 after baseline drive in traffic by Wallace. Cal holding Buffs to 3 for 20 from the field, and two of those three were a dunk and putback. If Bears keep CU away from offensive boards, they will win this game. Crabbe sitting after PF No. 2 with 9:11 left.

11:24 1st H: Bears playing very well defensively — CU having to work into final 10 seconds of the shot clock past several possessions to get a shot, and that’s not their preference. Bears lead 8-6. Buffs shooting 2 for 14. Cal’s issue: 4 turnovers.

15:15 1st H: Colorado leads 6-4 after alley-oop fastbreak dunk by Andre Roberson. Fans following Monty’s lead and already unhappy with refs, who are letting physical play go — a benefit to CU.

LINEUPS: Colorado will start Askia Booker, Xavier Johnson, Josh Scott, Spencer Dinwiddie and Andre Roberson. Scott is back after missing two games after hitting his head in a game vs. ASU.  Cal goes with the usual lineup — Allen Crabbe, Tyrone Wallace, Justin Cobbs, David Kravish and Richard Solomon.

WELCOME: The Bears (19-9, 11-5) can clinch a top-4 spot in the Pac-12 with a win this afternoon vs. Colorado (19-8, 9-6) at Haas Pavilion. A top-4 finish gaves the Bears a bye into the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 tournament. Won’t be easy: CU has won five of the past six meetings vs. Cal.

Also, long-injured guard Ricky Kreklow is warming up with the Bears this afternoon. Not sure what that means, but it’s progress.

Jeff Faraudo

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Phlegming, NOOOooo…!

  • The Wisdom Cow

    It’s the Dave Phlegmming I’m-A-Die-Hard-Stanfurd-Fan-Announcer jinx. Don’t expect any calls today. Don’t expect the announcer to point any bad or questionable calls out, at least when they are against Cal.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Wow, Crabbe’s head was not in the game at all to pick up that third foul so blatantly.

    Somebody shove him!

    Just do it in the locker room.

  • Rollonubears

    Playing without heart so far. Sloppy ball handling. Playing scared, thinking about conference championship instead of the matter at hand. Poor prep. Monty will fix at half, but crabbe is in lala land for some reason. Crowd needs to step it up too.

  • Rollonubears

    Nice recovery by the bears without crabbe.

  • 1brsfan

    Defense playing well but those two wide open 3′s really hurt. We should be up 8-10. I think The score is a win for CU. although you could argue we’re lucky to be up with Crabbe on the bench.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Beautiful job by Wallace just now, taking advantage of a one on one moment (thanks to a good upcourt pass by Crabbe) and NOT giving Dinwiddie a chance to draw a charge. SOOO many players force that one to the basket and give the defender a chance to take a charge.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    And how does one enunciate “Dinwiddie” without saying Dimwitty?

  • Rollonubears

    This is not our A game. Luckily it’s not Colorado’s either.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    And then Wallace dunks on Johnson! The kid can pick his moments.

  • BlakeStreetBear

    MonsterJAM by Wallace!!!

  • takeoffthatredshirt

    ticky tack fouls keeping colorado in it. also turnovers. gotta handle the d pressure down the stretch.

  • Rollonubears

    Crush the FUrD. Lets do this!!!

  • Sean

    Rebounds: Cal 45, Col 36
    Points in Paint: Cal 44, Col 12

    Beating them at their own game…

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Wow, wow, wow. Way to step on their necks, Bears.

    These guys are really playing TEAM ball on defense much better than I thought they could, the whole being worth more than the sum of the parts.

    Play like this could make for an exciting March.

  • Rollonubears

    Football team, please go to the Stanfurd game!

  • BlakeStreetBear

    Man, this team plays D. Where do they rank in the nation for fg% defense?

  • gobears91

    Great performance by Kravish and Wallace! Excellent team defense. Props to Crabbe for not forcing the offense and making smart passes. Cobbs steady and under control. Fun to watch the Bears playing together against a team that normally gives us trouble…

  • Will

    Shave your mustache!!!!

  • discdude

    That was a great team win. Congrats to Bears and to Monty and the staff. This team has come together and is definitely playing some good ball right now. Go Bears! Take it to the Furdies, no let up!

  • covinared

    Not winning pretty but its clear we have found out how. Good shut down defense and the development of Wallace and Kravish. We can win when Crabbe is off. How many outside shots did we make? 2? Reminds me of wooden ucla teams. Killed them in transition. Monty is a very good coach to figure out how to win with this team.

  • wehofx

    Block Party! …and yeah, hella D.

    Also as Thurminator, Kravish and Solo are gaining confidence the fumble fingers/greased ball in the low block problem is disappearing.

  • BlueNGold

    Give a shout to the Cal women as well- Pac 12 champions!! On the road, too!

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Eh, not sure I get the mustache taunt. First, it was rhythmic, so it could actually aid FT attempts. Second, it was the whack dude from Oregon with the truly bad mustache (which he has shaved).

  • Gobears49

    Wehofx,

    Went to the game. Agree it was block party. Wonder if they keep stats for most blocks in a game. Today’s game could be that game. Also, I may research to see whether Kravish is on track to own the most blocks in school history. He has an interesting way of doing that without fouling anyone. He just stands there with his arms up. That way he avoids being faked out, jumping up and having a player purposely leaning into him on the way down to draw a foul in the act of shooting. Kravish rarely gets any foul calls against him, even though he blocks lots of shots. I think this is due to his unusual no-jumping block shot technique (OK, occasionally he does jump, but only when he has to).

    Also good news on the post-game show. As I mentioned a few days ago, I suggested that Monty consider playing Kreklow if it would not not result in him burning a year of eligibility and if it would not result in him not being as healthy next year as he would be if he didn’t play anymore this year. A few days later I read that Monty was considering playing Kreklow again this year. Does Monty read this blog?

    Today, on the post-game show, one of the radio guys said that since Kreklow can’t get a medical redshirt year this year (because his injury is not during what would otherwise be his last year of eligibility), Kreklow has decided to lightly with the team, with the hope of playing more this year. If so, even if we beat Stanford and sort of lock up the dance invitation just based on that, we need to play at least two games in the Pac-12 tournament if Kreklow feels up to playing and is allowed to play, to give him game experience before the NCAA’s so he can help the team during the NCAA playoffs.

    But first Cal has to focus on beating Stanford. Again, I think a win then will lock up the NCAA’s no matter what we do in the NCAA tournament.

  • SteveNTexas

    Excellent turn around for the season. We need momentum going into the tourney.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Of course Monty reads the blog. Go back to our comments before the streak started. We were all screaming for the team to go inside.

  • Eric

    This was a big win. Colorado is a decent team. I feel pretty good of making the tourney no matter what, but let’s destroy Furd and make a run in the Pac-12 tournament. No damn 8 or 9 seeds!

  • DRW

    I was at the game. What a blast to see the Bears close the door on a good Colorado team. They played inspired down the stretch! Tyrone’s two dunks (and his play overall) were huge. Allen’s contributions to the win should not be minimized; he was hammered throughout. David was 9 for 12. They were 10 for 10 from the line; Justin was 6 for 6. Richard was resolute on the boards, and 2 for 2 from the line. Brandon and Robert were superb off the bench. Monty was dismayed at two CO threes in the first half, especially the one at the end. I wonder what he said at halftime! Apparently, it worked. He is an excellent coach. Forget everything else, beat Stanford! Go Bears!

  • DRW

    Oops, David was 6 for 9.

  • gobears91

    Jeff – if Cal, Ore and UCLA all finish at 13-5 (which is very likely), who gets the Conference title? I figure we get the tiebreaker with Ore because we swept them, but how does it play out with UCLA because we split with them? As always, thanks for the great reporting throughout the year-

  • 1brsfan

    Tiebreaker between 3 teams is the record against each other. Cal is 3-1 and both UCLA and Oregon are 1-2 so although they would all share the title Cal would be #1 seed in the P12 tourney.

  • gobears91

    Thanks 1bf, appreciate the insight.

  • Jeff Faraudo

    1brsfan beat me to it, and he got it right. Cal wins any possible tiebreaker, whether it’s a 3-way tie, or 2-way involving either Oregon or UCLA.

  • gobears91

    Good to know, thanks Jeff.

  • Gobears49

    Wallace was terrific yesterday. Very quick, knows how to penetrate, and is very effective inside and does not mind the rough stuff there. He will be excellent once he learns to make that outside jumper better.

    His best shot is his jump hook inside, where he takes advantage of his long reach. He should spend time teaching Soloman how to do that (I noticed that Kravish brought back a hook shot, which he hasn’t used in a while — made it, too).

    Have not found stats yet of highest total blocked shots by a Cal men’s basketball player, but I will. Kravish had three yesterday and 48 for the season (perhaps excluding yesterday’s results). I think he is on his way to the record. Someone should write about that and his unusual way of blocking shots without jumping, which seems to be very effective and doesn’t tend to get him in foul trouble, which is what happens to most shot blockers, who normally jump to block shots.

  • Gobears49

    Wisdom Cow,

    I think we do go inside a bit more now but, unfortunately, except for Thurman, we really don’t get as much traditional front court production down low, except for put backs, as we should from big men. Soloman has yet to develop a back to the basket type game, and Kravish does very little of it. Both like to shoot jumpers facing the basket and are not very mobile in getting themselves into position to do so. Both having been playing well with the style of play they now have, but if they want to be more effective next year, they need to develop their back to the basket game, which is more effective in being able to get a good shot off inside than using jumpers facing the basket.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    GB49,

    Not sure back to the basket is going to be in either of their games. So long as they stay active,the guards keep driving, and everyone keeps such great spacing down low for passing, I’ll be happy.

    On back to the basket play (and not trying to put either guy down), ever notice how the really good ones seemed to have either tremendous height or, more likely, very broad shoulders (picturing Brian Hendrix). Then again, Powe was just physically overpowering.

    I just think both Kravish and Solomon are not build for it at this level. Defenders can push them off their spot too easy, so both guys must rely more on finesse.

    You have to do what you can do as well as possible, and the way the ball is moving down low on offense (not to mention outstanding help defense), the team is getting great production from both of them.

  • Gobears49

    The Wisdom Cow,

    Tend to agree with you. I’ve watched Cal for many years, and the best back to the basket guy I think we’ve had was Kamp, who was definitely not tall, but was pretty husky, consistent with your comment. I must admit I don’t remember Hendricks style of play. Also, I am almost sure that McNamara’s total game was back to the basket. I’m sure it was Imhoff’s, too, but I never saw him play at Cal (though I did when he played for the Lakers). Back to the basket is a difficult skill to master. Kamp must have been doing it for years and was probably already good at it in high school.

    BTW, I thought Cobbs was reverting to his “I’m Michael Jordan” mode yesterday a bit, but really only for the time that Cal couldn’t get a good shot off so then Cobbs decided to try some difficult ones. He did make one, a nice scoop shot which, perhaps unfortunately, will encourage him to try some more. A good thing about those difficult shots is that he often gets fouled on them. But I wish he should just try stick to some open, or semi-open regular jump shots and some drives to the basket where he gets to the rim (Cobbs is good at that but Crabbe is even better, perhaps because he’s taller). Also, I should comment that while Cobbs is good doing difficult shots, the guy with the most potential in doing them is Wallace, who has good moves and is lightning quick. Again, love his jump hook, which I bet he is easily hitting over 50% of.

  • Gobears49

    I think Frid, our 7’1″ freshman, has a back to the basket game, and also has a nice jump shot. He’s very athletic and seems to have good basketball moves even though he’s only been playing basketball about three years. Rooks’ hook shot looks a little funny, but it could be effective. Also it looks like he has a jumper. As I’ve stated, Frid is my pick for surprise player next year.

  • Jeff Faraudo

    GB49: Kravish does have 48 blocks this season, fifth-highest total in Cal history. Single-season school record is 59 by Michael “Yogi” Stewart in 1994.

  • Gobears49

    Jeff,

    Thanks. Haven’t had time to try again to find the record for total blocks for a career and where Kravish stands in relation to that record. I did look up how many blocks Kravish had last year, which was 41. I did not look up the stats from two years ago, but I think that since Kravish is so far ahead of Soloman for this season and last season, his total now must still be way ahead of Soloman’s total blocked shots numbers for almost three seasons now.

    It’s my sense that Cal has never had a player that blocked a lot of shots each year over a four year career at Cal, which leads me to the conclusion that Kravish is on his way to easily break whatever is that high total. He could be in line to compete for the Pac-12 record.

    Again, an interview with Kravish, maybe next year when post-season enthusiasm dies down, about Kravish’s unique method of blocking shots, which involves few fouls on himself, would be an interesting story and interview. His stats are particularly unusual as he is not a center, a position that normally generates the most blocked shots on a team.

  • Gobears49

    Found the Cal Bear total blocked shots record, which is 207, held by Michael Stewart. Located in a Cal Bear website prepared just before the start of the 2008-09 season.

    http://www.calbears.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/all-century-vote.html

    With a current total of 99 blocks, with at least two games to go this season, Kravish has a chance to break the record for most blocked shots, as he has two years left.

    Michael Stewart (1994-97) – holds ever Cal blocked shot record – career (207), season (59) and game (7, three times) … owns four of the top six season block totals at the school … named Pac-10 All-Freshman in 1994 … Cal’s Best Defensive Player as a freshman and Most Improved Player as a senior … career field goal rate of 51.0% is 10th in school history.

  • Gobears49

    Meant 89 blocks (41 + 48), not 99.