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Basketball: USC game thread

Click here for my game story. And here for a box score.

FINAL SCORE: USC 77, Cal 69. The Bears (14-5, 5-1) lose for the first time in the Pac-12 and look bad doing it. They shot 39 percent, made just 5 of 17 from the 3-point arc and missed nine free throws. They also allowed the Trojans to outscore them 44-26 in the paint, thanks to 20 layups and dunks. Cobbs had 22 points and six assists, Mathews had 18 and Solomon contributed nine points and 13 rebounds. Freshman Jovanovic scored a career-high 23 for the Trojans (10-9, 1-5), who hadn’t come closer than 18 points in their previous five conference games.

3:34 2nd H: Cal has made several comeback attempts, but the Trojans have answered each one of them. USC’s lead currently is 69-58. Cobbs has 21 points for the Bears and Mathews 15. But Cal is shooting just 37 percent, has made 4 of 15 from the 3-point arc and has missed five free throws in the second half.

11:44 2nd H: USC leads 56-42 after a layup by Nikola Jovanovic, who will be shooting the and-1 FT after the timeout. Wallace just picked up his fourth PF. The Bears are in trouble.

HALFTIME SCORE: USC 41, Cal 32. The Bears got as close as 35-30 after Kameron Rooks scored on a putback with 1:53 left. But USC outscored them 6-2 the rest of the half to rebuild the lead. Cal shooting 32.3 percent (10 for 31) with five turnovers. USC shooting 55.6 percent (15 for 27) with six TOs. Mathews has 13 points and Cobbs 12 for Cal — the rest of the team has combined for seven on 2 for 12 shooting. USC with a 19-17 rebounding edge, despite eight boards by Solomon. Wallace and Kravish are scoreless.

3:46 1st H: USC’s lead is 32-22. Cal got within six points, but couldn’t build on the comeback. The Bears are shooting 7 for 25 — 28 percent. Only three Cal players have scored so far — Mathews with 9 points, Cobbs with 8 and Solomon with 5 — a bad sign for a team as balanced as the Bears. Seven different USC players have scored, including 7-foot-2 Omar Oraby, who has nine points.

7:39 1st H: USC leads 26-16. The Trojans were up 11 at one point. Cal shooting 6 for 20 and allowing USC to do what it wants. Trojans shooting 9 for 15. USC outscoring Cal 14-2 in the paint. Monty tinkering with lots of combinations, but very little fire, organization or defense so far.

12:58 1st H: Not going well so far for the Bears, who trail 16-8. Cal shooting 3 for 12 and fouling USC at every opportunity. Montgomery already has gone to Bird, Rooks and Powers off the bench.

15:40 1st H: A slow start by the Bears, who trail 9-5. Solomon going to the line for two FTs after the timeout. Cal shooting 2 for 7 from the field. USC is 3 for 4, but has three turnovers.

THIS SCORE JUST IN: OSU leads WSU 33-27 at the half in Pullman.

STARTING LINEUPS: Cal will go with its usual quintet of Justin Cobbs, Tyrone Wallace, Jordan Mathews, Richard Solomon and David Kravish. USC is starting Pe’Shon Howard, J.T. Terrell, Omar Oraby, Nikola Jovanovic and Byron Wesley.  

WELCOME: I’m here at the Galen Center for tonight’s game between the first-place Bears (14-4, 5-0 Pac-12) and the last-place Trojans (9-9, 0-5).

Will this be a mismatch or a trap game for the Bears, three days before their showdown with UCLA at Pauley?

Will be back shortly with starting lineups.

Jeff Faraudo

  • 707 Bear

    Listening on radio. Talk about negativity.

    Thoughts from those watching on ESPNU?

  • Wehofx

    707, we’re falling into the trap. Gotta stop phoning it in – again – and start grinding.

  • 1brsfan

    It looks like SC wants it more. They’re flying to the ball and we look uninterested. I hope Monty tears them a new one at halftime.

  • Gobears49

    Forgot to do an analysis of USC big guys versus ours. First time our bigs are facing bigger guys. We are getting killed at both ends inside. Soloman is not looking like the pro somebody said earlier he will be. Kravish was a non-factor in the first half.

    But maybe Monty fired them out at halftime like he did at OSU.

  • 1brsfan

    Oh well. As many of us feared this is the trap game and we fell right into it. Tough climb out the way were playing.

  • 707 Bear

    Good new alert..

    Cal’s website shows single game tickets for Arizona as “sold out.”

  • Steve Fischer

    Trap-crap. Its just neither acceptable or excusable to lose to a team like this. If we don’t come back our resume for a decent seed will have a huge hole in it. Indiana losing to Northwestern was bad but IU is one of the youngest teams in the nation and great shooters won’t arrive till next year. Cal is much more seasoned. We need a big comeback –now.

  • 1brsfan

    This game is over. We’re not making a comeback. We’re getting mauled and not getting the calls and SC is hitting 3 after 3 whenever we cut into lead. We didn’t give full effort and we’ll pay for it come March.

  • 1brsfan

    On the bright side… We’ll most likely be 5-2 come Sunday with just 2 home games played in conference. If you told me that back in December I would have taken that in a heart beat.

  • Eric

    Ughh – precisely what I feared.

  • bearmon

    I was at the game. It was special personally because it was my first Cal bball game ever to attend ^^-V but man was I disappointed that we lost to the worst team in the conference. It was a half empty arena with Cal and SC fans spread out sparsely. Question: does the Cal band / cheerleaders not travel to away games? It was weird/sad not seeing Oski and the co. which I thought was the usual scene at games like these. And maybe the team would’ve fed off the positive energy and performed better with their support. The players seemed subdued or looked like they were playing nervous or scared even. Solomon looked like he was outmatched, couldn’t get inside for a shot or get rebounds. He looked really pissed and frustrated in the later game and I could see him arguing with Kravish during free throws. Oh well, hopefully they identified what the problem was and come out winning on Sunday. Go Bears! Oh and I ran into my old American History teacher / my frosh-soph coach from high school. Man, he got old!

  • Dan

    No excuse what so ever. Just when you think the team might be onto something special, this.

    I’m glad I didn’t watch, that I was watching the #7 ranked Aztecs in person at SJSU tonight. Took care of business. Two 16-0 runs in the 2nd half.

    Mike Montgomery is a good coach, but he is no Steve Fisher.

  • JB Don’t Dance

    Sunday is the first of “last 10 games” which shows how you finish the regular season.

  • Rollonubears

    Pathetic. And exactly as expected by many. Only thing to do now is lose a few more so we end up with a 12 seed instead of a 7 to 11. We had a legit shot at a 5 or 6 until last night. I partly blame Monty. You could see this coming from a mile away.

  • AngrySocialWelfareAdvisor

    HAHAHAHA….scoreboard!

  • AngrySocialWelfareAdvisor

    BTW no one really cares about basketball at SC but we still beat your sorry team of SW students.

  • IAmAlcindor

    No more Morencsarecoming for you.
    All gone.
    Done.

    So, how was your New Year’s Eve?

  • Rollonubears
  • BlakeStreetBear

    Out-hustled and straight-up out-worked on both ends of the floor! Can’t happen. Losing because a team misses a bunch of shots is one thing, the Bears shot piss-poorly even when wide open, but letting the other team beat you to virtually every loose ball is not gonna work, ever.

    Watch the tape Bears! And don’t let it happen again Sunday.

    Bird needs to shoot more too. He looks tentative now when he wasn’t earlier in the season. Kreklow’s return is also welcome as his defense is contagious.

    A win Sunday and this nasty loss is (almost) forgotten. Go Big Bears! Pound those little bear babies!

  • covinared

    Saw it on tv. I was at the Santa Barbara game. Similar in that both opponents were big inside. K ravish and Solomon get pushed around by hulks. Rooks held his own. Curious why he did not get in the second half

  • AngrySocialWelfareAdvisor

    I am actually glad it is. How do you like my new s/n Sherm?
    Here were my other choices…
    ContributingtoAPRFailure
    BustedasaRacistforUsingtheNWord
    IBulliedEW
    SFGateBlockedMe25Times
    PlayedbyDifferentPosters
    ToldtoGrowUpbyGldnBear71

  • NewYearsEveFriends

    No answer about New Year’s Eve? I wonder why.

    Bahahahah. Pity the troll. THIS and his obsession with the fat man who got him banned is ALL he has. Seriously — who else besides the SW Advisor at Cal does this lonely social outkast interact with?

  • CallMeDaddy

    Dear Cal Fans and Alums,

    I come to you with a heavy, broken heart to break my silence, to apologize, and to atone for over a decade’s worth of abuse from my child. I can no longer deny or avoid the questions of paternity, and thus I take full responsibility for my lack of oversight as a parent and for shirking the incumbent duties pertaining to that role.

    Now, as many of you know, the bail industry is lucrative, stressful, and time consuming. Nonetheless, I could have and should have devoted more time and effort towards raising my progeny, but I simply assumed, incorrectly, that she would turn out to be an upright citizen. Well, we all know the problematic nature of the word “assume.” It’s another one of life’s lessons learned the hard way.

    I regret that I spent a long ago afternoon drinking at the Bears Lair, when I should have attended my public health professor’s lecture, “Family Planning And Its Impact On Social Welfare.” Well, I certainly don’t claim to be the sharpest tool in the shed.

    One shortcoming after another has left me with a child who is anti-social and unproductive. And for my part, I failed to heed the diagnoses and warnings issued by a diverse group of medical and mental health professionals. I shunned the wise counsel of my pastor. Mea culpa. Mea culpa. Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa.

    And so, as the issues spun out of my control and the longer I ignored the warning signs, I have fallen deeper and deeper into a pit of despair and denial. I have had to resort to wearing a disguise and to self-medicating with PBR therapy in order to cope and to numb the pain.

    Yes, life presents us with all sorts of challenges, but no challenge is ever greater than that of one’s own family. With all due humility I come to you publicly to cleanse my heart, my soul, and my conscience.

    Insofar as I cannot erase the past, and since it is only so much spilled milk, I shall wear my shame and embarrassment no more.

    It’s all on me. I own it. The denial ends now. Let the healing begin. Reconciliation will be my mitzvah.

    I shall make symbolic amends by wearing a tie embroidered with the Golden Bear (courtesy of George J.Good, no less) every day henceforth.

    Here I am, a changed and humbled man who seeks your forgiveness, kindness, patience, understanding, and indulgence.

    Please accept my deepest and most sincere apologies.

    Most of all, thank you for allowing me to relieve the wretched onus that weighs upon my soul.

    Best regards,

    Daddy

    PS: GO BEARS!!!

  • AngrySocialWelfareAdvisor

    All of that hard work and not even one thumbs up from the other posters not even fat Sherm. HAHAHAHA. Get a life.