Oregon State (15-8.6, 6-6) at California (16-8, 6-5) / Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, CA / 3:30 PM PST / Pac-12 Network / KEJO 1240 AM / KEX 1190 AM
Oregon State concludes their Bay Area trip with a visit to California this afternoon.
The Beavers got their first conference road win of the season Thursday night, downing Stanford 62-50. It was only their 2nd win in their last 22 trips to The Farm. But getting a sweep of the Bay won't be easy, even though Oregon State defeated California 77-71 in the season's first meeting back on January 9th.
Haas hasn't been quite as hard to win in as Maples, Oregon State has still only won 3 times in their last 18 trips, and not since 2009.
And while the Bears have also had a brutal season away on the road, losing all of their conference road games and getting only 1 overtime win on the road in non-conference competition, California is unbeaten, 15-0, at Hass. Thursday night's 83-63 win over Pac-12 leading Oregon was their 3rd home win against a ranked opponent.
California also welcomed Tyrone Wallace, who had 17 points in the first game against Oregon State, back to the lineup, after Wallace had missed 5 games with a hand injury. Wallace came off the Bear bench to score 10 points and grab a game high 8 rebounds.
It was a balanced effort by the Bears, with 5 players in double figures, 4 in scoring, and Sam Singer with a career high 11 assists, but Jabari Byrd dominated for Cal. Byrd buried 9 of 14 shots, including 5 of 8 from 3 point range, for a game high 24 points.
Oregon State got its usual stat-sheet stuffing effort at Stanford from Gary Payton II, plus a highlight lob dunk, despite his being knocked out of the game twice in the first half with various bumps and bruises. with 14 points, on 6 of 11 shooting, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals. But Tres Tinkle turned in the best stat line of the evening, finishing with a game high 19 points, and just missing a double double, with a game high 9 rebounds.
And the Beavers not only turned around a disastrous disadvantage on the boards they suffered the first time against Stanford, they out-stole the Cardinal, who lead the Pac-12 in thefts. Possessions = points, especially when your defense holds an opponent to 37% shooting, and 28% from long distance, which Oregon State did.
Indeed, the defensive job the Beavers do against the Bears will probably determine if they have a shot at the road upset, or if this will be another home blowout win for California, who has won 11 of those 15 at Haas by double digit margins.