Basketball: UCLA game thread

Click here to read my game story.

FINAL SCORE: UCLA 86, Cal 66. The No. 23 Bruins (21-5, 10-3) used an 18-3 run to pull away and bury the Bears (17-9, 8-5). UCLA led by as many as 27 points. Adams scored 28 for UCLA. Mathews led the Bears with 16. 

13:09 2nd H: Big trouble for the Bears — UCLA leads 61-44 and seems able to score whenever it wants. Especially Adams, who has 18 points.

15:50 2nd H: A 7-2 UCLA burst, punctuated by a 3-pointer from David Wear, and it’s 55-41. Kyle Anderson has three fouls for the Bruins, but has remained in the game. Adams has 14 points for UCLA, which seems able to score from almost anywhere on the floor against the Bears. Gonna be a long climb back for Cal.

HALFTIME SCORE: UCLA 44, CAL 32. Jordan Adams hits a 3-pointer with 5 seconds left in the half and the Bruins equal their biggest lead of the half. The Bears had the margin down to four points before UCLA outscored them 10-2 over the final 3 minutes. Adams has 12 points for UCLA, Bryce Alford and Travis Wear each have seven and Anderson has four points, five rebounds and four assists. Cal, which shot just 34.5 percent in the first UCLA game, still having trouble: 39.3 percent in the half. Bird and Mathews with nine and eight points, respectively. Cobbs finally got into the act — he has five points and five assists. 

1:20 1st H: Cal got the UCLA lead down to 34-30 when Rooks scored a  layup off a pass from Cobbs and Cobbs converted a drive and free throw with 3:46. But the Bruins answered with a 7-0 run, including a pair of mid-range jumpers by Travis Wear to push the margin back to 11 points. Cobbs just made two FTs and it’s 41-32. 

3:51 1st H: UCLA’s lead is 34-27. Mathews has hit a pair of 3-pointers to keep the Bears close. He has eight points, Bird has nine.

6:24 1st H: Amid a chorus of boos from the crowd — unhappy with the officiating — the Bears have crept within 29-22. Jordan Mathews hit a 3-pointer on Cal’s most recent possession, but the big offensive lift is courtesy of fellow freshman Jabari Bird, who has nine points in the half. You’ll remember he scored 11 points in a span of 3:56 against UCLA at Pauley. The two first-year guards have 14 of Cal’s 22 points. Wallace and Cobbs scoreless.

11:11 1st H: It’s small ball time right now — each team played the past several minutes with four guards and one post player. Hasn’t helped the Bears so far. They are shooting 3 for 12 and trail 18-8. Kyle Anderson, the Bruins’ 6-9 point guard, is trying to post up whichever smaller defender is on him.

14:46 1st H: You’ve heard this one before . . . a slow start by the Bears, and UCLa leads 11-5.  Cal has scored twice on its first eight possessions, four of which ended with turnovers. Jordan Adams has seven points for the Bruins, including a 3-pointer after what appeared to all to be a moving screen. UCLA’s length on the perimeter is bothering Cal, which is shooting 2 for 6.

THE CROWD: Cal reported Tuesday that it had sold more than 11,000 tickets for tonight’s game. Not that many yet, but a good crowd. And probably still arriving.

STARTING LINEUPS: Cal makes a switch, swapping freshman Jordan Mathews for Ricky Kreklow.  is not switching its lineup, after all. The starting five remains the same: David Kravish, Richard Solomon, Tyrone Wallace, Ricky Kreklow and Justin Cobbs. UCLA will start David and Travis Wear, Kyle Anderson, Norman Powell and Jordan Adams.

WELCOME: The Bears return home tonight to face No. 23 UCLA in a battle of teams chasing Pac-12 leader Arizona.

Cal (17-8, 8-4) is tied for third with Arizona State, one game back of UCLA (20-5, 9-3), which is one game back of Arizona.

The Bears lost 76-64 to UCLA at Pauley Pavilion last month, but have won three straight against the Bruins at Haas Pavilion.

A victory by the Bears would give them home wins over Arizona and UCLA in the same season for the first time in 10 years, just the fourth time ever.

Will be back with lineups.

Jeff Faraudo

  • 707 Bear

    Another slow start….oh brother….a new starting lineup? Different pre-game routine? Mandatory Red Bulls?

  • Wehofx

    707 lol

    I’d like to see kreklow get a shot at defending Adams.

    Keep that rock moving.

    Go Bears!

  • Steve Fischer

    Ok as we start the 2nd half- we are at home- we have a more experienced coach than UCLA. We have a veteran team. We know the game is important -so Monty make the adjustments in both attitude and strategy that other Cal Fans think you’re capable of, and win this game.

  • Darren-daredevilfan

    Why do we think it will go smoothly from Byrd being nonexistent to taking over. How about easing into it so less disruption

  • Darren-daredevilfan

    Bad gameplan

  • 1brsfan

    Not seeing the fire tonight. Yet another lackluster effort. The story of our last 6-8 games. Not sure what Monty can do but IF we make the tourney we’ll be one and done.

  • 707 Bear

    Cal down 63-49.

    Perhaps the gray uniforms are to blame.

  • GoBears49

    To make all Cal fans feel better, they are showing the famous Cal – Duke game on the Pac -12 network. Still in the first half. Cal had Kidd, Murray, Grigsby, Hendricks, and Buckley. Stevie Jonnson came off the bench for Cal as well a Jarad Haase. I think the first three had their jerseys retired, probably half of the total jerseys retired. By far the best Cal lineup of all time Now on HD on channel 823. It is now 10:10 p.m.

  • GoBears49

    Cal is up 47 – 37 against Duke. Kidd and Murray are having a hell of a game. So are Haase and Buckley. Nice to see Grigsby out there. Maybe Monty should turn on ch. 823 to show his team how the game is played. It is now 10:20 p.m.

    BTW, Cal now HAS to beat USC.

  • 1brsfan

    I blame Wed night games.

  • Steve Fischer

    A coach should be a motivator and a strategist. Great halftime adjustments resulting in a blowout on our home court in a key game.

  • Rollonubears

    Last night is exactly the reason why we don’t sell out Haas Pavillion. It’s not the lack of promotions. It’s not the over-priced tickets. People don’t want to waste a whole night and spend a bunch of money to watch a team that may or may not decide to show up. I can’t blame Monty anymore. He’s doing his best. This is just unacceptable.

  • Eric

    I’m sorry but I do blame on Monty. Since the Pac-12 season started, it seems like virtually every game – save Arizona – we get off to a slow start. If we wake up we can catch the team at the half (like Washington). And maybe against weak teams we can catch up in the second half (except we didn’t against U$C, which is embarrassing). But against good teams, we are killing ourselves and losing games.
    Granted, didn’t think this particular team was a lock for the NCAA but would be a bubble team and as long as they were fighting hard I was cool with it. But this team is better than it has been performing, and I am not seeing improvement, but arguably regression. We looked better against Syracuse without Solomon even playing than we have looked over the last 5-7 games (again, save Arizona).
    It is the coach’s job to find ways to improve the team. It isn’t happening.

  • Steve Fischer

    Really? Let’s turn it around and look at all the excuses ALFORD would have had if UCLA lost.
    1. Hes a relatively new coach- monty is experienced and a strategist.
    2. They are on the road
    3. Cal should be up for revenge after the loss in LA.
    4. He didn’t recruit all of his players and doesn’t know them as well as Monty knows his.

  • GoBears49

    It’s very simple, really. Boils down to talent. UCLA has more of it than we do, though they do play better together than we do. We generally pass the ball some around the outside and then set up a simple screen to free an outside shot, or just drive. Not very good passing out there to set up an easier shot (preferably inside). At least we do try a simple screen at the 3-point line. Braun would not even have his players do that — just pass the ball around the arc.

    BTW, Kravish is being pushed out of his comfort zone in taking jumpers. He’s now almost out to the 3-point line in doing so. He shouldn’t be taking that shot — very low percentage for him. He should stick to 10 to 15 footers — that’s his range.

  • Rollonubears

    I’m just tired of blaming Monty. Maybe these guys just aren’t good, and Monty has somehow magically been able to get something out of them, sometimes.

  • Rollonubears

    Go Bears, this is EXACTLY what Braun teams used to do. It was one step above street ball. Pass it around and take an ill advised shot. We’re small. We’re toast in the tourney, if we make it. Even crappy schools somehow find tall guys. Not sure why we can’t. Are you necessarily not smart enough to get through Cal if you’re tall? Seems unlikely.

  • BlakeStreetBear

    What a(nother) dud!!

    I was wrong, I said if Mathews/Bird combined for more than 20 we’d be in good shape!! lol. ucla is the best team we’ve played this year, better than cuse, with myriad offensive weapons. They’d smoke az if they played them tonight, even in tucson. I don’t see them losing again this reg. season game.

    Not much to say that hasn’t been said already about last night’s “performance.” I will say that the crowd showed up, mostly on time and that the refs were unusually brutal. Not sure why Monty doesn’t throw more tantrums – he sure used to – and get T’d up once in a while. He’d do it a furd a few times a year and he’d seemingly always get calls his way in the end.

    But as a basketball junkie, I sure do appreciate good ball and ucla played damn beautiful ball last night. The passing and shooting was exquisite! Too bad it was at the Bears expense…

    Well, time to blast the $poiled children and send them packing back to the ghe..whoops…I mean LA. Go Bears!

  • Wehofx

    As usual, agree w Blake and GB. Ucla got game. Believe it or not, still a lotta Ucla alumni po’d about Alford hire. Don’t get it.

    But as far as Ucla running the table? Don’t think it’ll happen. La times and Ucla friends have excoriated the team for the same tendency as our Bears to phone it in against “lesser” opponents.

    I’m starting to think we might have too many scorers. We need someone else to help cobbs w the “chippiness” factor ie Randall, kamp and gut. We need a hard nosed defender who will piss off the other team. Our version of Bruce Bowen/gut.

  • Wehofx

    …and Juancho, what’s her name?

  • Mitch

    Kreklow’s got some chip. That throw down of Dwight Powell was pretty terrific.

  • KC

    I think we have to start looking at Monty as major part of the problem right now. I thought we were outcoached at home be Sendek, Dawkins and Alford in three of our last four games, and arguably, we got very lucky to beat U of A due to a fortunate injury and stellar individual effort by Cobbs. We looked unprepared on defense – UCLA got whatever they wanted all night long, including a soul crushing three by Adams to end the half (when is the last time we executed a play on offense like that? Very similar to Jermaine Marshall’s game tying three which killed us) and we never had any answers on offense…looking stagnant and uncertain all night. I’m tired of seeing Monty storming up and down the sideline in a rage – draw up a play that gets us an easy shot every now and then. And if “these guys just aren’t any good,” well we need to recruit better guys…that’s on him too.
    Obviously, Monty’s body of work is solid (thank you for the Pac 12 regular season championship) and consistent post-season appearances, but we seem to come up short in big games more than I would have expected from a coach with his pedigree.
    I don’t think it’s time to move on, but at least like to see him take a bit of the blame after a flat performance like last night…and the Stanford game before this one at home.