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Basketball: Utah game thread

Click here to read my game story.

FINAL SCORE: Utah 63, Cal 59. The Bears (18-12) lose their fourth in five games and drop into a four-way tie for fifth place at 9-8 in the Pac-12. Cal plays Colorado at home Saturday, still nursing a chance to move into a top-four seeding for the Pac-12 tournament. Richard Solomon finished with 19 points — all of them in the second half — and 14 rebounds. He scored nine points in the final 35.9 seconds as the Bears desperately tried to fight back. But they never got closer than three points. Justin Cobbs had seven assists, giving him 502 for his Cal career. Utah improves to 20-9, 9-8 in conference play with just its second road win of the season.

3:39 2nd H: Cal possession at 48-all after traveling call by Utes. A dunk by Solomon and four straight FTs by Wallace got the Bears even after Utah led 48-42.

11:21 2nd H: Early returns on 4-guard lineup encouraging for the Bears. Mathews hits a 3-pointer and the deficit is down to 36-35.

12:33 2nd H: Utah responded to Cal’s lead with a 6-0 spurt and now leads 36-32. Solomon has left the game in favor of Mathews, giving the Bears a four-guard look. Turnovers still a problem — Cal has 11, Utah just 5. That’s led to a 14-2 points-off-turnovers edge for the Utes.

14:50 2nd H: Cal leads 30-28 after a putback and mid-range jumper by Solomon who was scoreless in the first half. Utah is shooting 1 for 8 this half.

HALFTIME SCORE: Utah 26, Cal 24. Cal turns the ball over on its final two possessions of the half and heads into the locker room trailing. The Utes have outscored the Bears 18-4 in the paint. Cal has two FTs and eight turnovers.

2:41 1st H: Bears pulled even on a 3-pointer by Cobbs with 3:09 left. Cal shooting 45 percent to 41 percent for Utah. Rebounds even at 13 apiece. Cal has yet to shoot a free throw.

3:29 1st H: Utah leads 22-19. Cal hurting itself with turnovers — six of them so far. Solomon came out of the game with a bloody nose at 5:18. He is returning now. 

6:30 1st H: Cal’s lead was up to 17-9 after a 3-pointer by Jabari Bird with 10:09 left. But Cobbs went out at 9:14 with his 2nd PF and Utah has responded with a 9-0 run, taking an 18-17 lead on a postup by Marko Kovacevic. A pair of 3-pointers by reserve guard Kenneth Ogbe fueled the surge. Cobbs back in now.

11:56 1st H: Cal leads 14-9. Ball moving better tonight. Cal has mixed man-to-man and zone defenses. Doing a good job so far on Delon Wright and Jordan Loveridge — Utah’s two top scorers — who have a combined 2 points.

THIS SCORE JUST IN: Colorado beat Stanford 59-56. The Bufffaloes improve to 10-7, moving into a tie for third place with ASU. Stanford falls to 9-8, into a tie with Oregon. Cal can go either way.

15:53 1st H: Cal leads 9-3. Kravish with a pair of FT-line jumpers to start. Kreklow hit a 3-pointer, but left the game with 16:01 left after picking up his 2nd PF. Jordan Mathews is in the game. Utah shooting 1 for 3 from the field, 1 for 4 from the FT line and has two TOs.

LINEUPS: Cal will start its usual group — Richard Solomon, David Kravish, Tyrone Wallace, Ricky Kreklow and Justin Cobbs. Utah goes with Princeton Onwas, Brandon Taylor, Jordan Loveridge, Dallin Bachynski and Delon Wright.

WELCOME: Back at Haas Pavilion for the final regular-season games of the season. The Bears (18-11, 9-7) take on Utah (19-9, 8-8) tonight with implications for Pac-12 tournament seeding and the NCAA tournament.

Will be back with lineups in a few minutes. Tipoff is 8:05 p.m. on ESPNU.

Jeff Faraudo

  • unbearable

    Cal lookin’ ugly, at the half. They better pick this up quick.

  • 1brsfan

    Very ugly for the last 10-12 minutes. Solo rejected by the rim twice!

  • 1brsfan

    Offensive rebounds are killing us! All effort.

  • 1brsfan

    So Solo finally shows up but Cobbs disappears! Ugh!

  • Steve Fischer

    They will pick it up -perhaps a few years after Monty is gone. Keep hoping!

  • Steve Fischer

    Monty chokes again to finish a season. Is there any other team who has collapsed as bad as us (Well with 300 teams the odds are there should be). This has happened before under Monty. Stanford is probably really happy he was dumped on us.

  • Eric

    Pretty inexcusable, except that it has been this way pretty much since the USC road loss. Poor starts. I’m sorry, but that is coachin – this team has regressed, not improved, over the last 2 months. The Arizona is clearly a case of benefitting from an opponent’s injury.

  • Rollonubears

    Glad i slept through this one. If the team had half the passion of the internet fan base, we’d be a top25 team. Not even mediocre since the LA trip, and when you factor in the abysmal academic record for this part of our athletic program, it’s pretty clear we need a new coach. Maybe Sandy will watch the tournament and realize that there are a handful of young coaches out there who can do twice as much for our team, at half the price. I’m not even going to watch the finale this year, and will tune in only if they win their first pac12 tournament game. What an embarrassment. We should have been at 20 wins a month ago.

  • GoBears49

    TypicalCal

  • GoBears49

    To get in, now, Cal either needs to beat Colorado and win two Pac 12 tourney games (though I am not even sure that will do it0, or just blow off the Colorado game and win the Pac 12 tourney. The good thing about the loss yesterday is that loyal Cal fans might be able to see a home NIT game. I’m not that loyal.

    One thing I liked about Cal’s play last night is that they FINALLY started to kick the ball outside after passing it inside. They were getting open looks that way but, for the most part, they weren’t dropping. But they should keep that up.

    The TV announcers were right. Utah just wanted it more last night, and it showed. That has been a theme of Monty’s the whole season. I can’t blame that failure on him.

  • Steve Fischer

    The problem with Sandy Barbour is she may see each team get baskets and think “Wow this is entertainment” She doesn’t understand that it’s important to note which team has the higher number at the end of the game. Perhaps she thinks “Winning is a guy thing- its just a game everyone should have fun – and buy a Cal T-Shirt while you’re there”. She doesn’t understand that maybe more T-shirts would sell if we won. IF she had focused on academics and we had the smartest players that might be acceptable but as Rollon pointed out- we arent so hot there either. I’m not trying to be sexist – I campaigned for the Equal Right’s Amendment back in the 70′s and still believe in it-but in the last couple of years Football Baseball and Basketball seem to have been in a decline.

  • Steve Fischer

    So the coach who makes how much each year is not responsible to motivate the players HE RECRUITED?

    GO Bears to get in now– There has to be an earthquake over 7.5 in Westwood burying UCLA and its players. The State of Arizona has to run out of potable drinking water, an avalanche has to envelop the Colorado Campus, and Utah’s flight on the way home has to be hijacked and forced to land in the Crimea.

  • 1brsfan

    I was thinking the same thing last night. When was the last time Cal won a meaningful game in March with Monty at the helm? I do recall that Monty’s Furd teams had the “choker” label. If memory serves correctly every year they would underachieve except for one year when they made it to the Elite 8 or maybe Final Four. I do agree with others that this team doesn’t have the same drive to win games. At first I thought that it was the make up of the guys but now I’m thinking that it’s the coaching that doesn’t inspire them to play like Utah played last night.

  • 1brsfan

    Actually we got off to a fast start last night. At one point we were up 9 or 10 points instead of being down. We showed energy and heart. Then all of a sudden someone turned off the switch.

  • Eric

    I should have clarified. I think a poor start extends to basically the first half. In this case, it is true that at the 10 minute mark we were up (I think 8) but by 6:30 (thanks JF!) we were down. That is a poor start in my book.

  • Rollonubears

    this comment format is terrible. this isn’t how a conversation works. reminds me of that snl skit where the guy replies to something that had been said 5 minutes earlier. such a bad layout, and no way to sort by “absolute” newest. maybe we could get everybody to agree not to reply directly to a comment, but to just enter a new one every time, thus creating a chain like we had before. if nobody else agrees, i’ll shut up. i just think it’s a bummer when i see a new comment, and i have to sift through everything to find it.

  • BlakeStreetBear

    Ugly. Nothing else to say. This team, with Monty at the helm, has majorly disappointed. I am not happy. Does that make you happy Steve??

  • BlakeStreetBear
  • BlakeStreetBear

    I am with you rollon. good idea.

  • 1brsfan

    Got it. I was comparing it to our other starts when we’re the ones down by double digits 5 minutes into the game.

  • 1brsfan

    I’m on board with Rollon on posting format. Fishcher- I too am now disappointed and unhappy.

  • Steve Fischer

    Happiness is elusive this basketball season… for all the teams I follow. Jason Kidd is doing a fine job however considering the injuries and has-been on his team.

  • BlakeStreetBear

    Yes, I didn’t think Jason Kidd could coach his way out of a wet paper bag. He seems to be getting those guys to play hard, which is not surprising at all…too bad the Cal job is a demotion…

    With Monty’s career fast approaching its horizon, do we have any ideas for his eventual replacement? I have no ideas whatsoever. Can Lamond Murray coach? ;)

  • Steve Fischer

    The next coach? yes Kidd is unattainable . We probably can’t steal a coach from a major program so we have to look deeper. I think Jim Crews at St Louis might be good or his new assistant Calbert Cheaney -Google him! The Wichita State Coach might be good.

  • Rollonubears

    Jorge!

    Crap. Just as i wrote this, i see JF says the nets signed him. 1-10 days to prove himself to Kidd? that’s awesome. He’s too young now, probably, but I seriously think Jorge will be a coach some day.