Oregon St. (17-11, 8-8) at California (16-12, 6-9) / Haas Pavilion / Noon PST / Pac-12 Channel / KEJO 1240 AM / KEX 1190 AM
Oregon St. concludes their Bay Area road trip, and their regular season road schedule, for that matter, with some brunch ball in Berkeley, taking on California.
The road has been a rough deal for the Beavers this season, who have only won away from Fort Wayne in Corvallis twice, and only once against a Pac-12 opponent.
Thursday was no different, as yet another game got away. Across the bay in Palo Alto, Oregon St. opened a 9 point lead late in the first half only to see Stanford pull back within 2 points at the break. Then, it was tied at 37 apiece with just over 14 minutes to go. 6 minutes later, the Cardinal had exploded to a 16 point lead, and the Beavers were well on their way to their 4th loss in their last 5 games, this one a 75-48 swamping, as the Cardinal administered the worst conference loss of the season to the Beavs.
This despite a 17 point effort by Gary Payton.
The Bears have been anything but Golden under first year coach Cuonzo Martin since just before Christmas. Except for a 5 game winning streak midway in the Pac-12 campaign, California is 1-11 since Christmas week.
Wednesday night was more of the same, as the Bears got into a shootout with Oregon, and got the short end of an 80-69 score for their 3rd loss in a row. Martin's strategy was to have Jabari Bird jack up 20 shots, and he got 22 points as a result, but that didn't work out when Joseph Young got 25 points from as many shots, and got more help as well, and the Ducks got their first win in Berkeley in 7 years.
That could work against Oregon St., who can't match that kind of fire-power, though whether he can get that many shots against the Beaver defense will probably be the key to the game.
It's also senior day in Berkeley, and that's likely to spur an extra measure of effort from David Kravish, the Bears' frontcourt star who is going to be another matchup problem for the Beavers. Daniel Gomis continues to play better, but Olaf Schaftenaar was playing ill Wednesday, and any lingering effects, or foul trouble for Gomis, could well result in Kravish going out in a blaze of glory.
Oregon St. enters the game in 6th place, and will remain ahead of California regardless of the outcome, as the Bears entern1 1/2 games behind the Beavers, tied with Washington St. for 8th. Any number of possibilities for a rematch in Las Vegas still exist as well.