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Basketball: Bears escape WSU, 80-76 OT

By Jeff Faraudo
Wednesday, February 12th, 2014 at 10:26 pm in Basketball, Gameday.

Click here to read our freelancer’s story on Cal-WSU.

Justin Cobbs scored all 22 of his points after halftime and Cal got past Washington State 80-76 in overtime in Pullman.

The Bears improved to 16-8, 7-4 in the Pac-12. They play Saturday at Washington, with a noon tipoff.

“We’ve just got to keep pushing,” Cal coach Mike Montgomery said on the post-game radio show. “A road sweep will get us back in the conversation. We had to have this one. I wasn’t going to tell anyone.”

Mike, everyone knew. A loss to the 11th-place Cougars coupled with a loss last month at last-place USC?

“This would have been a really bad loss,” he allowed. ”When you add in the SC loss and this one, it would have beem a really tough deal for us.

“We really needed this. I can’t tell you how much we needed this.”

Now the Bears find themselves in a three-way tie for third place with Colorado and Arizona State, one-half game back of UCLA at 7-3. Arizona continues to lead the Pac-12 standings at 10-1.

Washington beat Stanford 64-60 to improve to 6-6 in Pac-12 play.

The game was a struggle for the Bears. They led by as many as 10 points, but could not seem to stop DaVonte Lacy, who scored a career-high 39 points.

“We weren’t perfect, but I don’t think we are,” Montgomery said. “We’ve got to defend and got to stay focused.”

The Bears switched their defense late on Lacy to double-team him coming off the screen-and-roll, and the Cougars couldn’t make them pay.

“It looked to me like Lacy was going to get 50 if we didn’t do something,” Montgomery said.  

Cobbs scored 17 of his points in the final 5:32 of regulation and overtime, including a layup and FT with 26 seconds left in the second half to give Cal a 69-67 lead.

He missed an 18-footer just before the second-half buzzer, sending the game into OT. Then the senior guard scored seven points in the extra period to go with his seven assists and just one turnover for the game.

Richard Solomon had 15 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out and David Kravish scored 14 points. Jordan Mathews came off the bench to score 12 points.

Ricky Kreklow got the start, contributing eight points, three rebounds and a key defensive sequence late, forcing Lacy into a missed 3-pointer with just over 10 seconds left in overtime.

Lacy, who did not play when the teams met in Berkeley, shot 8 for 15 from the 3-point arc and made all 11 of his free throws.

The Cougars (9-15, 2-10) also got a huge game from D.J. Shelton, who had 18 points and a career-high 19 rebounds.

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  • Phil Green

    Phew…

  • Rollonubears

    playing timid. sad.

  • Mitch

    Tune in to the last 5 minutes and watch the Justin Cobbs show.

  • 1brsfan

    We had a double digit lead and then WSU went on a tear from behind the arc. At one point they were 9 for 10 in the 2nd half, all 3 pointers. If they miss a few of those we maintain our double digit lead. Our defense struggled but they were just shooting lights out.

  • covinared

    I agree. The odds are against that many 3s going in. Once we made the adjustment we gave up a lot of drives but it stopped the 3 point onslaught. This team has yet to find itself but is close.

  • covinared

    It took me a long time to unwind last night.

  • Will

    We have to close out better on the deep shot though. Shooting that well is unlikely, but they were all pretty clean looks. Our switching was terrible. Can’t make the tournament with that kind of D.

  • BlakeStreetBear

    If only Justin Cobbs had the same mentality as Allen Iverson, or even Jerome Randle…smh. How many games has he been basically scoreless in the first half only to dominate the scoring in the second half?? I don’t get that. He should be trying to get in the lane and score from the VERY FIRST PLAY OF GAME! Not sure what the deal is…is he trying to prove to scouts that he can be a pass-first PG? F that.

    He is a scorer who needs to try to score EVERY time he has the ball. Nobody in this league can prevent his penetration, so why would he not take advantage of that more a la jahii carson? These games vs lower comp are only close because Cobbs is allowing them to be, that is the truth. He needs to take these games by the throat from the get-go, that’s what A.I. and Jerome woulda done.

    I am gonna tweet to Cobbs the above sentiments. When he scores 20 in the first half vs udumb you guys know who to thank. ;)

    Go Bears!

  • 1brsfan

    Well in last night’s game he didn’t need to take over in the 1st half. He was creating for others and we had a 9pt lead at the half. Maybe if he played like that in the 1st half he’d run out of juice at crunch time. Perhaps are more balanced game would make it so that he didn’t have to take over at the end.

  • BlakeStreetBear

    I hear you 1brsfan, but my point is that he should never ever have 0 points at halftime. I doubt if Randle ever had 0 at halftime of any game after his freshman year. And A.I., well, we know how much he scored. Justin seems to literally slow down when the game is not yet in crunch time. He doesn’t drive as much, or as aggressively, until crunch time. I just don’t get that. Is he really “saving” himself for the game-winning shot? That is not good strategy imho. I’d rather the Bears be up 15 with 5 minutes left and he can sit the bench, especially against crap teams like wsu…

    Go Bears!

  • 1brsfan

    I do agree that there is an imbalance that needs to be rectified. I too would prefer that has 10 at half and ends up with 20 but we win comfortably by 5 or 6.

  • Rollonubears

    wsu ALWAYS shoots lights out against us. they’ve been a good shooting team for years, but they take it up a notch because we take it down. 9 for 10 is unheard of. even in practice it’s rare. i agree about our defense being unacceptable for ncaa tourney purposes. we are such a freaking rollercoaster of a team. at least football has been consistent.

  • Gobears49

    I think Cal will be better overall, by the end of the season, for Cobbs to primarily be a passer until the game is on the line. It will eventually make the other players better. When Cobbs decide to score everyone just stands around and watches him. Just think of how little they will be involved in the game, and learn how to get open, if they did that the whole game. Besides, Cobbs can’t go one on one the whole game. He will wear himself out that way.

    Good to see Kreklow playing, and playing better. Like the announcers and Monty said after the game, he does a lot of little things to make the team better. Wish I could say the same thing for Soloman. Not very bright of him to give a big push to someone near the end of the game when he had four fouls.

  • Gobears49

    Cal desperately needs to win against Washington. Here’s my prediction of the rest of Cal’s games, excluding Washington.

    UCLA (home) — loss
    USC -(home) – win, but we could easily lose because we don’t seem to play well when the other team has a lot of guys bigger than us.
    Arizona (road) — loss
    ASU (road) — loss
    Utah (home) — win (not a gimme, especially if we are looking ahead to the Colorado game)
    Colorado (home) — loss, though that’s a tough call.

    That’s four losses and two wins, again excluding the Washington game. Not counting the Washington game, that gets us to nine wins and eight losses. Not counting the Pac – 12 playoffs, I think we need at least 10 league wins to get in, plus at least one win in the Pac -12 playoffs. And that might not be enough, particularly if we aren’t regarded, through the RPI rankings, as the fifth best team in the league. By my calculations above, to get to 10 league wins, we need to beat Washington to have a decent chance to get to the dance.

  • Phil Green

    This is a talented group of good kids who have grown a lot individually through good coaching. But they lack an identity. There are signs that Solomon, Kravish and of course Cobbs can all take over games – with Wallace, Mathews, and even Kreklow and Bird showing flashes. The problem is, rather than learning from the losses against inferior teams, they seem to go through stretches where they think “oh no, here we go again.” It’s a crisis of confidence. If they figure it out before the tourney, they could be really dangerous. They have heart but they need a killer instinct. They need to impose their will on teams.

  • 1brsfan

    At Oregon State last month, he scored all 20 points in the second half of an 88-83 win.

    And against Arizona State two weeks ago, he scored 21 points in the first half, then was shutout in the second half of an 89-78 overtime loss.

    Seems scoring all of them in the second half works better than the other way around.

  • 1brsfan

    I agree with all except CU game. They’re not as good without their top player, especially on the road. If we lose UW then we’ll definitely need a win vs. CU. I think we go 3-4 or maybe get lucky and go 4-3 down the stretch and squeak in with a win in the first round of the P12 tourney.

  • Wehofx

    Wow! Good read, all y’all. One of the best btb Hoops threads.

    Only coupla things to add. Find it interesting Singer’s getting the minutes w Big 4 at crunch time. I guess w 4 scorers Monty figures singer will /has kept the rock moving. (Next year w singer and a rohrie(sp) we’ll being good hands at the point. )

    It also lets Cobb move to 2 – as noted in thread – and t Wallace to 3.

    Kravish has been aggressive in taking the open shot in first half. During this bad stretch, it seems like they stop feeding him in2 half – solo, too.

    Feed the Post!

    Oh, and I hate the switching D that leaves our Bigs 25 feet from the basket. They gotta switch back or play straight man like they did against zona.

  • GoBears49

    Monty is on the record as saying Singer is the best passer on the team. At crunch time Cobbs turns into a shooting guard, so I guess Monty figures he needs his best passer out there to pass the ball to Cobbs.

  • Phil Green

    Agreed on the switches. The second chance points killed us the other night. There’s no excuse for that with this team, which has good length, and athletes at every position. Also agreed that we need to play more inside out. Solomon can demand a double team — now we need to find out of he can pass out of one.

    For those who worry about a dropoff next year, I don’t see it. We will miss Cobbs and Solomon, but this year’s freshmen will take a step forward, Wallace will become more consistent, Kravish will establish himself as an NBA prospect, Singer will be solid, and Rooks and the freshman big will hold down the paint. Plus look for Behrens to be a good contributor from the 4, getting a lot of hustle points. It won’t be glamorous, but it will be a solid NCAA tourney team.

  • GoBears49

    I hope we do well next year, but there will be a dropoff, though maybe not a big one.
    1. Can’t see us having a go to guy on this squad at the end of the game after Cobbs leaves. Right now there’s nobody close to fulfilling that role. Who’s going to be the leader of the team at crunch time? Kravish? Don’t think it is in his makeup. Also, I don’t think Kravish has enough all around skills to quite make the NBA, but he’s a very good college payer.
    2. It can be seen from my prior comments that I don’t see much in Rooks, particularly offensively. Clearly, he’s not nearly the player or the athlete that Soloman was as a freshman. Haven’t seen the incoming big guy, but I don’t think we can count on much from him without seeing him play first. Clearly, just the loss of Soloman’s rebounding will hurt us a lot.
    Granted, all remaining players should improve some by next year. Biggest potential improvement could come from Bird, though I think Mathews may turn out to be a slightly better player in the coming years. I expected more movement with the ball more this year from Bird, a la Cobbs, Wallace, and even Mathews.
    The guy with the most pro potential who is now on the team could easily be Wallace. He’s just real slick and quick. He just needs to learn how to nail his outside shot better. Very good defender and good inside offensively. Can’t prove it, but like I said previously, he may have the best jump hook fin the country for someone who is not a big man.