Final Score: California 85 Oregon St. 57
The California Bears were "Golden" Thursday night, mauling Oregon St. by 28 points.
The Bears used an 8-0 run early in the first half, and another 10-2 stretch after the midway mark in the half, to open a comfortable working margin, and take a 36-26 point halftime lead. The Beavers were never in it after that, as Cal continually pulled away, taking the lead to as many as 32 points, up 83-51 with three and a half minutes left, before Stanford coach Mike Montgomery cleared his bench, and settled for the 85-57 win.
A stretch of just under 6 minutes during which Oregon St. didn't hit a shot from the field allowed California to open up the lead from 12 points to 23, beyond any hope for a rally.
Harper Kamp led Cal, and everyone, with 18 points, almost all right at the rim. The Golden Bears also got a 16 point, 11 assist effort from Jorge Gutierrez, his first career double double. And Markhuri Sanders-Frison threw down 15 more, while Allen Crabbe also contributed 12 points to the Cal total.
Oregon St. got 15 points from Jared Cunningham, who hit 10 straight free throws, and 11 of 12 total from the line, and 14 more from Devon Collier, who had the Beavers' best shooting nigth, hitting 50% of his shots.
Lathan Wallace came off the bench, with 12 points, and Calvin Haynes added another 10.
The problem offensively was that Wallace and Collier were the only Oregon St. players to shoot well. Wallace had the only 3 three pointers for the Beavers of the 19 they fired up.
Roberto Nelson missed 10 of the 11 shots he took, including all five from three point range. Overall, Oregon St. shot just 32% from the field, and < 16% on three pointers.
Meanwhile, good ball handling continually produced open shots for California. The Golden Bears buried 51% of their shots, and the telling stat of the game was that 23 of their baskets came off assists, compared to only 7 by the Beavers.
Gutierrez was a large part of the assist show, obviously, but ball movement that left Oregon St. defenders dazed was a team theme for Cal all night. Neither the 2-3 nor the 1-3-1 zone was effective at disrupting the Bear's passing lanes, and as a result, Cal was continually able to break down Oregon St.'s interior defense.
The Golden Bears were able to not only carry the tempo beyond what the Beavers appeared to be able to manage, and were also more aggressive in and around the paint, and it was that way all night.
California (11-9, 4-4) will host Oregon (10-10, 3-5) Saturday, while Oregon St. (8-11, 3-5) visits Palo Alto to take on Stanford (10-9, 3-5), in a battle for eighth place in the Pac-10. The game will be carried by FSNW, starting at 7 PM.