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Despite Close First Half, Cal Beats Oregon State 73-56

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The Beavers struggled their way through the second half, failing to even keep it a close game.

Malcolm Duvivier had a standout 18-point, 8 rebound performance.
Malcolm Duvivier had a standout 18-point, 8 rebound performance.
Godofredo Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon State lost the second leg of their Bay Area trip to Cal 73-56 Sunday, in a game that turned out to be quite similar to Thursday's blowout loss to Stanford, as the Beavers paired an exciting, promising first half with a revolting second period.

Cal's first offensive possessions played perfectly into Oregon State's hands. The Golden Bears passed the ball around the perimeter, with little to no movement off the ball. Of course, the Beavers still struggled on offense, and Cal began to push the ball up the court quickly after Oregon State misses, which led to three consecutive 3-pointers, giving Cal a 9-2 lead early.

That was a deficit that the Beavers chipped away at, seemingly endlessly. The two teams fought hard and evenly for the next stretch of the game, as the refs let players get away with a ton of contact, a complete reversal of Thursday's matchup against Stanford. However, Gary Payton II picked up 2 quick fouls with 11:30 to play, and was subbed out, with the Beavers still chasing a 6-point deficit.

Payton II sat out about 2 and a half minutes, re-entering with Oregon State trailing by 8, as Cal continued to make the easy shots they needed to, and Oregon State continued to struggle their way through their offense, staying in the game despite their trademark lack of offensive creativity.

Cal's lead was once again extended to 8 with 7:46 to go on a lay up, but from there, Oregon State finally began to make significant strides toward cutting into the Golden Bears lead. 4 scores from 4 different Beavs, capped by 3-pointers from Payton II and Langston Morris-Walker, cut Cal's lead to 1. Duvivier hit a layup through contact, enough contact to actually draw a whistle, giving the Beavs a 1-point lead that he extended to 2 by hitting the ensuing layup.

Walk-on Tanner Sanders hit an open 3 to make it a 29-24 lead, but from there, much like against Stanford, Oregon State lost control of the game headed to half. Cal, to their credit, continued to execute on offense, and, over the final 4:07 of the half, outscored the Beavs 8-2, giving them a 32-31 lead. Oregon State had the last possession, with 31 seconds left on the clock, and it was as ugly a possession as they've ever had, with Gary Payton II and Malcolm Duvivier inexplicably not holding the basketball. An Olaf Schaftenaar pass to Cheikh N'diaye with 6 seconds left led to a desperation post move and shot, N'diaye's only attempt of the game, that wasn't even close.

It was the Jarmal Reid and Langston Morris-Walker show to start the 2nd half, as the pair scored Oregon State's first 13 points, while Cal struggled on offense, and Oregon State had a 44-36 lead about 6 minutes into the half.

Cal responded with a 18-0 run.

Not a typo.

Oregon State looked completely lost on offense, with Gary Payton II not involved or creating nearly enough, and a combination of bad defense and good offense on the other end of the floor earned Cal a 54-44 lead, just 6:03 after Oregon State had that 8-point lead.

A pair of Jordan Matthews free throws, part of his team-high 17-point afternoon, made it a 14-point Golden Bears lead, with 6:41 to play. Payton II responded with 5 consecutive points, including a deep 3 to cut it to 9, prompting Payton I to yell from the crowd to his son "Shoot the ball!", a sentiment all Beavers fans were echoing. They'd gotten within 8, at 63-55, with 4:02 left, thanks to Malcolm Duvivier free throws.

But that was as close as the Beavs would get, as Cal pulled away once again to end the game, taking advantage of a tired and lost Oregon State defense to extend the lead to 17, at 73-56, by the end of the game.

Four Golden Bears finished with double-digits on senior day, including a double-double for big-man David Kravish, with 13 points and rebounds.

Interestingly, four Beavers also finished in double digits. Malcolm Duviver led all scorers with 18 points and, when the game was close, or when it was looking bright for the Beavers, Duvivier was the reason. He added 8 rebounds, and didn't turn the ball over. Reid and Payton II had 13 and 12 points, shooting 4-13 and 5-13 from the field, respectively. The latter added 5 rebounds, the former added 3 turnovers. Morris-Walker scored 10 of his own, though the Berkeley native disappeared for large stretches of the game.

In the end, the script was the same for Oregon State. Disappointing offense and inconsistent defense, compounded by a lack of athleticism and scorers, resulted in a big loss on the road.

Oregon State's final game of the season is at Gill Colliseum against Oregon, at 8 PM on Wednesday.