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