FINAL SCORE: Oregon 68, Cal 65.
Cal missed three free throws in the final 2 minutes, 17 seconds after pulling within three points and lost at Oregon on Wednesday night. The Bears (12-4, 2-1) fell out of first place in the Pac-12 and are now 1-4 away from Haas Pavilion. Oregon is 12-4, 1-1.
Some quick impressions:
WHY CAL LOST: A lot reasons, starting with some ghastly offensive numbers. Cal turned the ball over 18 times – half again above their season average – to go with just six assists. The Bears shot 0 for 12 from the 3-point arc. Jordan Mathews, who scored 32 points against the Ducks when the teams last played at Matthew Knight Arena in 2014, shot 0 for 8 and was scoreless. And the Bears made just 13 of 23 free throws. They also surrendered 10 offensive rebounds.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Freshman Jaylen Brown helped keep the Bears close in the second half, when he scored 13 of his game-high 20 points. Brown shot 8 for 10 from the field and had nine rebounds and two steals.
PLAY OF THE GAME: Oregon freshman guard Tyler Dorsey – who was recruited hard last year by Cal – hit a 3-pointer with 57.2 seconds left, extending the Ducks’ lead from 60-57 to six points. Dorsey finished with 16 points.
TURNING POINT: The Bears were down just 60-57 after Brown made the first of two free throws with 2:17 left. He missed the second, then senior Tyrone Wallace missed two with 1:27 left. Moments later, Dorsey pushed the Oregon margin back to six points.
WHAT WE LEARNED: Cal was the quicker, more athletic team against Colorado and Utah last weekend, and its size made a difference in both victories. But the Ducks were the aggressors here, and their speed bothered the Bears. The Ducks ran circles around Cal big men Kameron Rooks and Kingsley Okoroh, although freshman forward Ivan Rabb had 17 points and eight rebounds before fouling out in the final seconds. Cal could not find open looks on the perimeter and never developed any rhythm on offense.
TRENDS: Cal has now lost twice in a row to Oregon after beating the Ducks 12 straight times, six of those in Eugene.
BUCKING TRENDS: Cal was 5-1 against teams ranked in the RPI top-50 before the loss to the No. 20 Ducks. Oregon shot 52 percent in the second half to finish the game at 40.7 percent, becoming the first Cal opponent in six games to crack 40 percent.
WHAT’S NEXT: Saturday vs. Oregon State at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis. Tipoff is 6:30 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks). The Beavers (10-2, 1-0 before facing Stanford on Wednesday night) enjoyed their first sellout home crowd in three years last Sunday against Oregon, and rewarded them with a 70-57 victory. Senior guard Gary Payton entered the week averaging 16.4 points, 8.0 rebounds and 5.1 assists, while freshmen Tres Tinkle, Stephen Thompson Jr. and Drew Eubanks combined to average about 30 points.