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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.