Cal rallies only to fall short in 61-58 loss to Colorado in the Pac-12 Tournament

By Morris Phillips

A year after the onset of COVID-19, and the abrupt departure of sporting events across America, the mindsets of the Cal Bears and Colorado Buffaloes heading into their Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinal had similar themes.

A year ago, the youthful Bears ended their season with a win–against rival Stanford no less–and the Buffaloes were left with the sour taste of an upset loss to 11th-seeded Washington State.

Great memories for Cal, bad memories for Colorado, and the overwhelming unlikelihood that both teams would leave Las Vegas this year with the same emotions.

Colorado, despite an awful start–and bunch of resistance from Cal–held on to beat the Bears, 61-58 and advance to the tournament semifinals against USC on Friday night.

“You got to figure out a way to win when you don’t play
your best, we did that tonight, and we weren’t at our best,” CU coach Tad Boyle said. “And again Cal had a lot to do with that and I’ve got great respect for what Mark Fox is doing. They have had a rough year in terms of wins and losses, but, man, they have been in every game and tonight’s another example.”

“They didn’t give up and they made it hard on us.”

Remarkably, in the 23 years of the Pac-12 Tournament, only two 11th-seeded teams have managed to win games–Washington State last year against Colorado, and Cal in their opener on Wednesday also against Stanford. Given that, being 11th in the Pac-12 isn’t a harbinger for success, and it wasn’t again Thursday. After both teams waited an additional hour to hit the floor while USC and Utah battled through two overtimes, a sloppy game broke out. In the end, the Buffaloes’ defense reigned supreme, as they held Cal to 38 percent shooting and stopped leading scorer Matt Bradley dead in his tracks.

With Bradley shadowed by 6’3″ master defender Eli Parquet–along with a host of others providing double teams–Cal’s leader missed his first six shots as the Buffs built a double-digit lead with 11:41 remaining. Bradley would find some light down the stretch and finished with 10 points, but Colorado’s strategy was a success: take Bradley away, and force his teammates to respond, which never really happened.

“They trapped him on ball screens on the wings as well, and so we went to some isolations for him, and I thought that a couple times we didn’t come, on the pass out we didn’t come meet the ball,” coach Mark Fox said of the defense against Bradley. “I think that he finally got a little bit of rhythm in the second half. I probably played Matt… 38 minutes last night was a lot… and in hindsight I probably should have tried to save a couple minutes on him last night because I thought he looked a little fatigued today.”

“But I won’t be critical of our players. Execution in that situation wasn’t as clean as we wanted, but I thought our intent and our decision was the right way.”

Cal led for the game’s first 16 minutes after a 7-0 start to the game. But the Buffs missed good looks as often as Cal forced bad ones, best referenced by McKinley Wright IV’s poor start in which he missed six of his first seven shots. Once Jabari Walker converted a 3-point play, and 7’0″ Dallas Walton surprised everyone with a 3-point shot on the ensuing possession to put the Buffs up 20-16, they took control.

Cal trailed 61-52 with a 1:05 remaining, and then managed a desperation run in which Jalen Celestine scored six, quick points and Makale Foreman could have tied the game with a 3-point shot with five seconds to go. But Foreman ‘s shot bounced away and third-seeded Colorado survived.

“That’s his shot, he hits that shot all the time and when I see it I thought it was going to be good, obviously it didn’t go in but he shoots that shot all the time and that’s a shot that we like for him to take,” Grant Anticevich said of Foreman’s attempt to tie the game.

The Bears finish the season 9-20, their third 20-loss campaign in the last four years.

Ducks harass mistake-prone Cal, win 73-64 in regular season finale

(photo from calbears.com)

By Morris Phillips

BERKELEY, CA–The most bizarre–and challenging–regular season of Cal Bears basketball has come to a close. Unfortunately, there was nothing far out and strange about Saturday’s loss to Oregon at Haas Pavilion.

In fact, it was more of the same: Cal played hard, and played focused, but we’re simply outclassed by the Ducks in a 74-63 decision.

LJ Figueroa led Oregon with 20 points, 14 rebounds, and five steals as the Ducks scored the game’s first four points and led start to finish, and by as much as 19 points in the second half. Eugene Omoruyi had 21 points, and Chris Duarte, 17 for the Ducks, who have won seven of eight.

“He definitely was the difference in the game,” UO coach Dana Altman said of Figueroa. “His activity defensively, early boards, I thought he was really good. Thought he played his tail off and did some really good things.”

Figueroa did a little of everything, but his work as the point man in the Ducks’ aggressive zone kept Cal’s offense from finding any rhythm as referenced by their paltry total of 14 assists, with eight of those coming from the two guys Cal most needs to score, not facilitate, Matt Bradley and Grant Anticevich. When Figueroa wasn’t disrupting Cal’s attack, his steals led led to a decisive 27-11 edge for Oregon in points off turnovers.

“Those easy baskets they get really impact your defensive numbers,” coach Mark Fox said. “I thought our half court defense finally looked like it did a year ago, but the turnovers, the easy baskets were really the difference in the game.”

Fox admitted that the season began with his coaching staff concerned that their point guard play might be lacking, and as the season turned to conference play, Pac-12 opponents forced the issue on a nightly basis. The Bears saw the majority of their opponents build a wall at the 3-point circle and severely limit Cal’s dribble penetration leading to tough perimeter shots or turnovers. The Ducks, with the smallish, quick lineup may have been the best at it, as they again stopped Cal at the point of attack as they did in an easy win in Eugene in January.

Bradley was made to suffer the most, as Cal’s leading scorer finished with 12 points and four turnovers. Ryan Betley led Cal with 13 points and Andre Kelly added 12. The Bears trailed 34-27 at the break after shooting 39 percent from the floor. Their shooting improved to 52 percent in the second half, but they still fell behind 70-51 before an 8-0 run with three minutes left brought some respectability.

The Bears (8-19, 3-17) last place finish in the Pac-12 comes with an alarming distinction: among Power 5 conference schools (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC) only Boston College will finish the season with a lower power rating according to current Real Time RPI rankings. The Eagles, who fired coach Jim Christian mid-season on February 15, currently rank 261 out of 347, while Cal comes in at 246. What’s really disturbing is the company Cal keeps with them finishing far lower down the Division I ladder than the worst Power 5 teams typically finish with North Carolina A&T (11-10 in the MEAC) one spot ahead of Cal, and Manhattan (6-11 in the MAAC) one spot behind.

“It’s been a tough year to have a tough year,” Fox said of a season where his team has been isolated from other students, their campus environment and even themselves (only once did the team dine together in what was a socially distanced meal held outdoors) along with the mounting losses.

Fox is hoping that his team’s spirits will improve with fans and their parents present for the first time this season at the Pac-12 Tournament starting March 10. But even then, the players won’t be able to interact with their families due to COVID-19 protocols, limiting them to friendly waves and blown kisses from the arena floor into the stands.

And while several conference teams, including Oregon, play makeup games to cover for the season’s numerous postponements, the Bears must wait 12 days for the inevitability that they will at some point suffer their 20th and season-ending loss in Las Vegas.

Bears go cold after halftime and lose 59-57 to visiting Oregon State

By Morris Phillips

BERKELEY, CA–The last time Oregon State won at Haas Pavilion before Thursday night, President Obama lent relevance to the occasion with a good-natured phone call of congratulations.

Flash forward 12 years, and this time, no one was present to feel the Bears’ pain.

After pulling within two points of a tie, Cal went the final 94 seconds scoreless in an aggravating 59-57 loss to OSU.

Roman Silva scored 13 of his 15 points after halftime, and Ethan Thompson added 12 as the Beavers broke a nine-game losing streak in Berkeley, and beat Cal for the third time in a season for the first time since 1989.

Cal made its first seven shots of the ballgame and led 14-2 only to see OSU seize control with a 9-0 run to start the second half. The Bears shot 28 percent after the break, and missed 10 of their 11 3-point attempts as Matt Bradley, who finished with 20 points (14 after halftime), became their only reliable option with the game on the line.

Still coach Mark Fox pointed to his Bears’ defensive liabilities which allowed OSU to enjoy 38 points in the paint and mask an 0 for 10 showing at the 3-point line.

“It’s the defensive possessions in the second half that were the difference in the game,” Fox said. “We did not defend to the level that you need to to win.”

In 2009, then OSU coach Craig Robinson called for a pivotal switch in the second half to a trapping, full court press that befuddled Cal in a 65-61 loss. After the game, Robinson–Michelle Obama’s brother–received a call of congratulations from brother-in-law Barack Obama from the White House. This time, the teams played in an empty gym as mandated by COVID protocols and the only cheers were the self-congratulatory ones emanating from the OSU bench as Cal committed turnovers on both of their final possessions.

“We do good in spurts and stuff like that, but I think if we can finish games strong and have success, we’ll be okay.” said Andre Kelly, who finished with 15 points but conceded that his defense was subpar.

The Bears (3-16, 8-18) assured a last place finish with Thursday’s loss and they will open the Pac-12 Tournament as the 11th seed on March 10 matched against the sixth-seed. Arizona will not participate in the conference tournament as part of their self-imposed penalties surrounding recruiting impropreties that resulted in the imprisonment of former assistant coach Book Richardson.

The Bears conclude their home schedule on Saturday night when Oregon visits. The Ducks defeated Stanford 71-68 at Maples Pavilion.

Ice Cold Cal comes up empty in 62-51 loss at Washington

By Morris Phillips

If awful shooting at Washington State didn’t get the job done, even worse marksmanship at Washington wasn’t going to cut it either.

Call it Cal’s easily forgotten weekend in the Northwest, one that almost assures that the Bears will finish the Pac-12 regular season in last place.

The Bears fell 62-51 to UW Saturday night, shooting a season-worst 27 percent from the floor, two nights after they shot 36 percent in a 31-point loss at Washington State. After fighting back to trail just 45-42 with 9:07 remaining, the Bears failed to make a basket over the game’s final eight minutes.

“When we got back initially, we didn’t have the poise to seize the moment,” coach Mark Fox said. “You can’t miss 10 or 11 free throws, the shots on the floor, and win on the road.”

Quade Green led the Huskies with 17 points, and Jamal Bey added 15 as the Huskies celebrated senior night with a pre-game ceremony and by welcoming fans into Hec Edmondson Pavilion for the first time this season. Governor Jay Inslee’s “Healthy Washington” edict just announced on Friday allowed 200 family members and friends of the UW program to provide a vocal presence at one of nation’s oldest on-campus arenas.

The Huskies (5-17, 4-13) had dropped four, consecutive home games. They also lost to Cal in Berkeley, 84-78 on February 9.

“Our defense was better tonight against them,” Washington coach Mike Hopkins said. “I thought there was some really good post defense. We did a good job on their 3-point shooters, knowing where they were, taking away their space.”

What Hopkins’ described in positive terms for his Huskies, was characterized more negatively by Fox. While the Bears’ coach liked his team’s movement on offense and play execution, the shots didn’t fall. Shaking up the starting lineup seemed to motivate Grant Anticevich and Andre Kelly, who came off the bench. But the play execution and motivational tactics couldn’t keep Cal in the game.

“I thought Andre really responded well, gave us a double-double,” Fox said. “I thought he answered the bell. I thought Grant was more active tonight.”

Matt Bradley led Cal again with 13 points, but he missed 13 of his 16 shots. Anticevich missed 11 of 15, Ryan Betley and Makale Foreman both missed four of five.

Joel Brown was a late scratch for Cal due to swelling in his Achilles.

The Bears were even at 10, but then they trailed 24-14. They would go on to trail for the game’s final 29 minutes, and by as much as 14 (42-28).

The ensuing 14-3 run for Cal was as good as it would get… all weekend.

The Bears (8-17, 3-15) return to Haas on Thursday to face Oregon State. They’ll see Oregon on Saturday. Both games start at 7pm.

Cal finds themselves looking up to visiting USC in 76-68 loss

By Morris Phillips

BERKELEY, CA–USC’s length and persistence in the paint found its match in Cal’s grit and grind for stretches on Saturday at Haas Pavilion. In the end however the Trojans’ size never relented in their 76-68 win over the Bears.

Evan Mobley had 17 of his game-best 25 points in the second half allowing USC to seize control of a close ballgame in the final minutes as Cal couldn’t capitalize on leading scorer Matt Bradley’s return to action.

The 7’1″ Mobley, currently the third highest ranked NBA prospect in the 2021 draft, consistently challenged the Bears on the block resulting in dunks, offensive rebounds or fouls. Andre Kelly and D.J. Thorpe both fouled out inside five minutes remaining as the freshman knocked down 12 of 15 from the line along with five offensive boards and one don’t blink-fast putback dunk.

“I try to catch it mid-post, drive hard if the lane’s open. If not jab step, shot, create the help, kick out, just make plays for my teammates,” Mobley said in a brief description of his expansive game.

“I think you saw an improved Evan Mobley today than he was early in the week” USC coach Andy Enfield said. “He’s getting better and we demanded that of him this week and he responded in a huge way.”

Cal’s deliberate pace which made UCLA antzy and turnover-prone on Thursday played perfectly for the Trojans who wanted Mobley, his 6’10” brother Isaiah and three other regulars–all 6’8″ or taller–on the floor as much as possible. Evan Mobley seemingly never sat, playing 35 minutes and 19 of 20 after halftime.

Meanwhile, Cal started slowly (trailed 15-4 after five minutes) then bought Bradley off the bench in his first action after missing five games with an ankle injury. His appearance acted as a stabilizer as he along with Grant Anticevich and Joel Brown started to find some gaps in USC’s defense. At the break–and after the horrific start–the Bears trailed just 35-34.

But one early, second half sequence typified Cal’s inability to sustain any momentum as they followed Jarred Hyder’s four-point play with an airball, then a shot clock violation on the next two possessions.

In the final minutes, Ryan Betley’s three brought Cal within 68-66 with 3:02 remaining. But the Bears would score just once more–Betley’s layup–with 28 seconds left.

Anticevich and Brown led Cal with 15 points each, and Bradley added 11, but showed his rust with 1 of 6 shooting from distance. Both teams were 24 of 58 from the floor (41 percent) with the deciding factors the free throw line and the glass where Cal was outscored 21-13 at the foul line and outrebounded 41-32.

The Bears resume their schedule Thursday in Tempe with the rematch against Arizona State.

Cal’s upset bid fails in the final minutes of a 61-57 loss to No. 24 UCLA

By Morris Phillips

The strategy in the final minutes of a close contest for the trailing team is universal: foul, stop the clock, put your opponent on the foul line, hope for misses and lengthen the game.

But what if the referees are swallowing their whistles and letting both teams play? And your opponent is No. 24 UCLA who routinely defends without fouling?

Well, that strategy won’t work as Cal found out Thursday night at Haas Pavilion when their upset bid fell short in a 61-57 loss to the Bruins.

Jules Bernard’s 3-pointer with 2:08 remaining proved to be the pivotal basket, and gave UCLA a 59-55 lead in a game that was back and forth throughout the second half. Misses by Jarred Hyder on Cal’s ensuing two possessions brought Cal no closer. Finally, Hyder scored with 13 seconds remaining, but the Bears had to foul three times to regain possession. With just eight seconds remaining–and Cal again trailing by four after Johnny Juzang made two free throws–UCLA used one of their fouls to give to prevent a Cal 3-point attempt.

A pair of meaningless shots in the final seconds fell short for Cal, quietly ending their bid to upset the Bruins, who are now 8-0 and alone in first place in the Pac-12.

“We got the lead there late, tried to get our best defensive lineup in, and we kept them off the foul line,” UCLA coach Mick Cronin said. “It was an advantage down the stretch. We knew we had fouls to give with the way we were trying to play defense, so that helped us.”

“We just couldn’t get to the foul line in the second half,” said Cal coach Mark Fox, who saw his team limited to 21 points after halftime after leading 36-32 at the break.

UCLA has now committed fewer fouls than all 14 of their opponents. They committed just 11 fouls in the game and only 20 were whistled prior to the furious final seconds. While Cal slowed the pace, the referees sped the game along. In a game that was completed in well under two hours, the undermanned Bears got few chances to catch their breath.

Grant Anticevich led Cal (7-9, 2-7) with 21 points and perfect 5 for 5 shooting from distance. While UCLA stopped the Bears near the basket, they allowed Cal 10 made threes, seven of those in the first half. That alone kept the Bears in a game in which they were outrebounded 38-23 and wilted as the game progressed.

Cal’s defensive effort against the ranked Bruins was commendable, but even Fox admitted his team controlled tempo better than they defended, and leaving Bernard open for his late three was their biggest mistake.

“To beat a high-level opponent, you have to play a little more mistake-free than we did today,” Fox admitted.

Matt Bradley tested his injured ankle in pre-game warm-ups but was ruled out, missing his fifth straight game. That again left Cal scrambling for offense from other sources that couldn’t deliver. Fox pointed out that Bradley’s absence has affected guard Ryan Betley, who missed his first seven shots and finished 1 for 8 in 33 minutes of floor time.

“Were asking too much of Ryan, and I think he’s worn down,” Fox said.

The Bears are scheduled to host USC on Saturday but COVID issues within the Trojans program has put the game in question. The USC-Stanford game on Thursday was canceled.

Washington State’s effective defense keeps Cal winless against Pac-12 competition, 71-60

By Morris Phillips

BERKELEY, CA–Two developing clubs devoid of blue chip athleticism or the confidence that comes with experience aren’t going to deliver a college basketball masterpiece in a Haas Pavilion populated by empty seats.

Instead of extended bombast punctuated with fastbreaks, think stringing together quality possessions, starting with two or three.

Washington State embraced the mundane far better than Cal in locking down on defense and hitting open shots in a 71-60 win on Thursday night.

The Cougars still don’t have a marquee win but improved to 9-1. The Bears fell to 5-7 and are still looking for their first Pac-12 victory.

The Bears played without leading scorer Matt Bradley but welcomed back Grant Anticevich, who showed some rust after an appendectomy two weeks ago. That combination contributed to Cal’s tepid 34 percent shooting from the floor, but coach Mark Fox expressed greater disappointment in his team’s effort on the glass.

“I was really disappointed in how we rebounded the ball,” Fox said of the 45-28 difference on the backboards.

The Bears weathered WSU’s 15-2 run towards the end of the first half to climb within 31-28 at the break, only to see the Cougars take control again in the opening minutes of the second half. Noah Williams’ layup gave WSU a 51-36 lead with 12:14 remaining. That gap proved insurmountable with the Bears missing shots while battling WSU’s length and aggressiveness.

“It’s harder for us to score without Matt, but we’ve got to find a way to manufacture some points,” Fox said.

The Bears were led by Andre Kelly with 11 points. Ryan Betley and Lars Thiemann each added 10 points, but Makale Foreman, Cal’s most likely offensive source in Bradley’s absence was 1 for 7 from distance and finished with 7 points.

Isaac Boyton led all scorers with 22 points, and versatile freshman Efe Abogidi added 12 points and nine rebounds to aid Washington State.

The Bears host Washington at Haas on Saturday at noon.

Foreman’s shot at the buzzer gives Cal their only lead in 72-70 win over USF

By Morris Phillips

BERKELEY, CA–“Sometimes, you gotta do more,” said Cal coach Mark Fox.

Fox certainly got more grit and determination from his Bears in an improbable 72-70 win over USF at Haas Pavilion on Sunday. Makale Foreman’s 3-point basket just a fraction of a second before the final horn gave the Bears the win and their only lead of the day.

After a string of disappointing losses the Bears played smarter, harder and more efficiently against the Dons. But it didn’t amount to much until the game’s final play. In the final eight seconds Cal rushed the ball up the full length of the floor with Matt Bradley passing to Grant Anticevich then to Foreman at the 3-point arc just ahead of the final buzzer.

The Bears showed tremendous patience in getting the ball to their graduate transfer Foreman, the team’s only high percentage option from distance. By backing up four feet beyond the arc Foreman created the needed distance to avoid the lunging defender Jamaree Bouyea.

Ironically, Foreman had missed all five of his previous 3-point attempts and six shots in all.

A big factor in the win was Fox getting his team to reduce its shot attempts from distance after they fell to 242nd nationally (out of 315) in 3-point efficiency. In the meantime, Fox continued to encourage Foreman, the eighth most prolific 3-point shooter last season at Stony Brook, to look for his shot.

“He’s a great shooter,” Fox said of Foreman. “The decreased practice time has hurt him.”

The rest of Foreman’s took just nine threes (making five) and instead focused on getting the ball to the basket and drawing fouls. That strategy paid off as Andre Kelly scored a season-high 22 points and the Bears got to the line 23 times (making 16).

Anticevich and Bradley certainly did more, making tough shots with defenders draped on them from inside and out. The senior forward finished with a team-best 18 points and Bradley added 17.

The Dons scored the game’s first five points and led for 39 minutes only to be caught. Bouyea led all scorers with 24 and Kahlil Shabazz added 21. Bouyea went spectacular with his buzzer beater from 65 feet that gave USF a 37-28 halftime lead.

“I thought we played well enough to win, but not well enough to guarantee victory,” USF coach Todd Golden said. 

The Dons were attempting to beat Cal for an unprecedented third consecutive season, with the previous two wins both by double digits.

“Sometimes you gotta do more” was Fox’s explanation to his players for dressing in a traditional suit and tie, in a season where the NCAA has allowed coaches to wear polo shirts and sweat suits. Fox revealed to his team his choice of wardrobe on Saturday with the background story meant to motivate his group.

Apparently the ploy hit home.

The Bears will reveal their next two games later this week as the season on the fly continues. Fox did say there was an issue with one of their East Coast opponents meaning they may have two new opponents on their East swing in the days before Christmas or just one along with Boston College, which was previously announced.

 

Bears don’t enjoy the view–or focus on the hoop–in falling at Pepperdine, 74-62

By Morris Phillips

Most Pac-12 coaches play it smart when it comes to Malibu. If they want to celebrate a Southland recruit’s commitment, maybe they’ll make a side trip to Duke’s on the PCH for a frivolous cocktail and a steak–if it’s mid-afternoon and their flight schedule out of LAX isn’t compromised.

Power 5 coaches could care less about sightseeing so that’s it. A trip to Pepperdine to face the Waves in the Firestone Fieldhouse is definitely a Pac-12 no no.

But Mark Fox and his Bears ventured into the tiny gym with the expansive view on Wednesday, becoming the first Pac-12 team to do so since 2012, only the sixth conference team to play there, and the first since current Waves assistant Ken Bone’s Washington State team lost to Pepperdine in overtime.

Current Cal assistant Marty Wilson coached the Waves for six seasons, and only Bone accepted his offer to play. Apparently coaches let their guard down when they know each other.

See where this is going?

The Waves buried 12 3-pointers and led wire-to-wire, beating California 74-62. Kessler Edwards led Pepperdine with 26 points, eight rebounds, and reserves Jan Zidek and Andre Ball both scored in double figures as well.

The Bears got 27 from Matt Bradley and 21 from Grant Anticevich, but missed too many shots and were too careless with the basketball to keep it close. The Bears missed 19 3-point attempts and committed 15 turnovers, extending negative trends that have run through all six of their games to date.

Coming in the Bears ranked 201st in Division I, shooting just 30 percent from distance. Then they missed 19 of 24 attempts against the Waves, falling further down the rankings while calling into question why they even try to further their Steph Curry aspirations.

Pepperdine built a 10-point lead in the first 12 minutes, and extended it to as many as 19 in the second half. Ten of their 12 made threes came before halftime, part of their 51 percent shooting for the game.

With the win, the Waves have their first win against Cal after three losses.

The Bears return home on Sunday to face USF at Haas Pavilion at 12 noon.

Bears’ late rally falls short in season-opening loss to Oregon State, 71-63

By Morris Phillips

A sluggish start doomed the Cal Bears in their much-anticipated season opener against Oregon State.

After trailing by five at the half–and as many as 14 in the second half–the Bears’ late rally came up short in a 71-63 loss at Corvallis. Cal gets a quick turnaround with Northwest University up next at 3pm on Thursday also at Gill Coliseum.

The Bears and Beavers agreed to play each other in a rare non-conference matchup between Pac-12 foes just 48 hours earlier when Cal’s scheduled opponent, Colorado State was forced to withdraw from the multi-team event due to Coronavirus issues.

The Bears may have had a couple of more returning players than did OSU, but the Beavers had the more impactful newcomers as they controlled the glass and displayed better shot selection in a game the home team led throughout. Senior guard Ethan Thompson led OSU with 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists and Nicholls transfer Warith Alatishe contributed 16 points to help Oregon State hold off Cal, who climbed within 67-62 with a 1:30 remaining but could get no closer.

The Bears got 21 points from Matt Bradley, who led Cal despite missing 11 of his 16 shot attempts from the floor. Transfer guard Makale Foreman was the only other Bear in double digits with 10.

Cal ran into trouble early, falling behind 10-4 on their way to missing 18 of their 30 field goal attempts before halftime. The Bears ran into more problems in the second half by shooting threes in an attempt to get back in the game, but missed 11 of 14.

The Beavers controlled the glass 43-32 to make up for their subpar 44 percent shooting. Reserve Rodrique Andela grabbed 11 rebounds in just 23 minutes off the bench. Jarod Lucas was OSU’s other bench contributor with 11 points in 24 minutes.

Freshman Monty Bowser and graduate transfer Ryan Betley made their Cal debuts with Betley starting and scoring nine points.

The two schools hadn’t met as non-conference opponents since the 1987 NIT. Prior to that they met in a regular season contest at the Far West Classic in Portland in 1984.

The Bears and Beavers will meet again on January 2 and February 25 in Berkeley. They split last season with each team winning at home.