It was a good day at Haas Pavilion for the Cal basketball program. The Bears sent off popular senior David Kravish with a 73-56 win over Oregon State in front of 9,893 fans Sunday, and landed their first recruiting commitment for next season.
“You always want to get a win,” coach Cuonzo Martin said. “I don’t care if it’s ugly, if you win.”
It was ugly for a while, but the Bears (17-12, 7-9 Pac-12) used defense and their transition game to fuel an 18-0 run midway through the second half that erased an eight-point Oregon State lead and gave them control.
By the time Jordan Mathews made two free throws with 6:41 left, the Bears had run off a 24-2 burst and built a 60-46 lead.
The victory in their regular-season home finale snapped a three-game losing streak and moved the Bears perhaps one step closer to a possible NIT bid.
Cal’s students used the occasion to chant “Come to Berkekey” to recruiting targets Ivan Rabb, Caleb Swanigan and Davon Dillard, seated together behind the Bears’ team bench.
They got their wish with Dillard, a three-star small forward originally from Gary, Indiana, who announced his commitment to Cal via Twitter. The 6-foot-5, 205-pounder is playing his senior season at Our Savior New American School in Centereach, N.Y.
If Rabb or Swanigan, both five-star frontcourt prospects, decide to follow Dillard, the Bears will more easily replace Kravish, who had 13 points, 13 rebounds and three blocked shots in his final regular-season game.
The 6-10 native of Lee’s Summitt, Missouri left the floor to a standing ovation in the final minute.
“That’s one of those things you get only one time,” said Kravish, Cal’s career blocked shots leader and No. 5 all-time rebounder. “It still hasn’t hit me I’m not going to play another game here.
“Haas is a great environment for college basketball. I’m going to miss it.”