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Basketball: USC game thread

Click here to read my game story. And here for the box score.

FINAL SCORE: Cal 77, USC 64. The Bears used a 24-8 finishing run to improve to 18-9, 9-5 in the Pac-12, moving them into a tie for third place with Stanford. Cobbs finished with 22 points and seven assists, Kreklow had 12 points, Jabari Bird scored eight of his 10 points in the final 3:10 and Tyrone Wallace scored 10. Kravish had nine points, 10 rebounds and five of Cal’s nine blocked shots.

3:59 2nd H: Cal in midst of 11-0 run and leads 64-56. USC hasn’t scored since 8:06.

8:29 2nd H: A fastbreak drive by Howard and USC leads 54-53.

11:52 2nd H: Solomon picked up his fourth foul with 13:22 left and sat down. Cobbs gives Cal a 48-44 lead with a drive and free throw at 12:09. USC cannot have much confidence, having lost seven in a row. But the Trojans know this much: They already have beaten Cal once this year.

15:34 2nd H: Cal in the midst of a 9-0 run, including a pair of fastbreak baskets, and leads 39-36. The question: Can the Bears sustain?

16:21 2nd H: Wallace, who made just one of his seven shots in the first half, has scored on back-to-back possessions and Cal leads 37-36. Blocked shot count now at nine. School record is 11 in a game — four times.

HALFTIME SCORE: USC 30, Cal 27. The Bears score just 3 points in the final 5:25 of the half after using an 11-0 run to lead 24-19. Cal missed 11 of its final 12 shots in the half and is at 36.7 percent for the half. Cobbs, who scored seven points, left the game for several minutes after banging his knee, but seems fine, Cal has blocked eight shots and has held USC to 37.9-percent shooting.

3:07 1st H: Cal leads 24-22. Cobbs left game with 7:33 left after apparently banging knees with a USC player. He is now coming back. Bears have blocked eight shot and USC is shooting just 33 percent. But Cal isn’t scoring, either. Bears are shooting 37 percent.

9:27 1st H: A 6-0 Cal run ties it at 19-all. Mathews gets the Bears even with a long 2-point jumper off a feed from Rooks. Bird also scored on a short baseline jumper off an inbounds player. Bears playing a bit more decisively on offense right now. The defense already has six blocked shot.

11:32 1st H: USC leads 18-13 and S.J. Haley is going to the FT line for his and-1 FT try. He makes it: 19-13. Mathews and Bird in for the Bears. Also Rooks.

13:19 1st H: Cal jumped out to a 7-0 lead, but now trails 14-13. Fast-paced game. Kravish with six points to lead the Bears, Howard with six on a pair of 3-pointers for the Trojans.

STARTING LINEUPS: USC, without suspended leading scorer/rebounder Byron Wesley, will start Omar Oraby, Pe’Shon Howard, J.T. Terrell, Nikola Jovanovic and Julian Jacobs. No changes for Cal, which will Richard Solomon, David Kravish, Tyrone Wallace, Ricky Kreklow and Justin Cobbs.

WELCOME: Cal (17-9, 8-5) will try to gain a weekend home split against the L.A. schools and avenge a month-old road loss to last-place USC (10-16, 1-12) when the teams tip off at Haas at 5 p.m. Game can be seen on FoxSports1.

Will be back with starting lineups.

Jeff Faraudo

  • Wehofx

    Keep feeding the post

    Go Bears!

  • 707 Bear

    36 percent shooting…currently watching the walking dead (yes, the AMC show and the Bears)

  • 707 Bear

    Walking Dead over (sadly Carl survived)…. Cal’s NCAA hopes still alive too

    When will we beat SC in football?

  • Steve Fischer

    The last part of the game fwas good but a slow half against a decent team could bury us.

  • GoBears49

    That Kreklow is certainly a nifty passer! How many guys out there can pass the way he does (the team should take notes as to how well he goes inside and the kicks the ball out — sort of reminded me of Kidd the way he does that) and can also block shots.

    Rooks needs to learn how to go up and make shots (though Soloman still hasn’t learned that that well). Also, Rooks need to jump a bit higher when he shoots to avoid getting his shot blocked. When I watched his high school tape, he didn’t jump at all, but there is no excuse for that now that he’s lost a ton of weight. Hopefully, Monty will develop his offensive game, but he clearly has a long way to go. Very frankly, I’m very surprised Rooks has progressed this much this year, and I’m sure that occurred because he was very disciplined to improve himself with the coaching his has received. He needs to keep that up, as he is likely to play a lot more next year.

    Rooks should not think I am singling him out for criticism. I was all over Cobbs last year for being undisciplined when he drove the lane and the same thing for Wallace at the start of the year (he might be back to doing that again, as he got a charging call driving the lane tonight). It’s just when something is glaringly wrong that I have to make a comment. That’s what this blog is partially for.

  • 1brsfan

    3-1 would be great but 2-2 is more realistic with this team. Two wins and one in P12 tourney would put is in the tourney but just barely. We’re talking 11 or 12 seed territory.

  • Rollonubears

    11 or 12 would be ideal! so much better than 7-10. I think 2-2 is likely, and that both of those will come at home. I doubt we beat either AZ squad, but that would be awesome.

  • Eric

    Another slow start. If we get to 20 wins, I am pretty sure we are in. But I don’t want the 8-9 seeding. I’d rather be a 10, 11, or 12.

  • Mitch

    If we get a win on this road trip, we should consider ourselves most fortunate. UA will be out for revenge. ASU got a wake up call last night.
    Our hope for a 20-win regular season comes down to Colorado and Utah at home. And Colorado is still a very good team.
    We may have to get #20 in the first round of the Pac 12 Tourney.
    Yikes.

  • GoBears49

    It is very possible that we will have to wait to get win #19 at the Pac 12 Tourney. Utah did a number on ASU last night, so beating them will not be easy. Remember, we beat a USC team last night who did not have their best scorer.

    With the win last night, Cal was rewarded by moving down one notch on the RPI to #51.

    http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/rpi

  • Rollonubears

    Monty says he wants us to play tougher, but the reality is, we’re small, and weak. We can be more aggressive, but that just leads to more fouls (see Solomon last night). Until we recruit heavy, tall guys that can play, we will never compete with the tough teams. We’ll continue to get bounced around, and right out of the first round.

  • GoBears49

    Soloman should be rewarded by being allowed to take one three point shot in the second half if he can somehow not get three or more fouls in the first half. He might even make it, and her certainly would be open to take it.

    We really need him in there most of the game, despite his troubles, sometimes, in putting the ball in the hoop, but it doesn’t help when he gets his third foul, making an unfortunate aggressive decision, right before half.

    BTW, Soloman is hefty enough, as is Rooks. Kravish has bulked himself up some, but he’s not hefty at all. But he’s also a very good college player. May have one of the best hook shots in the country. Would be nice for Jeff to see how he’s doing in being to break the Cal record for blocks next year. Maybe I’ll do the computation myself, as I did it before.