It seems impossible to believe considering the last few weeks. But there were were four Pac-12 teams in action last night and all four came away with wins. Of course, three of the teams were pretty weak.
For head coach Tad Boyle and his Colorado Buffaloes, they pick up a nice win over Georgia. At this blog, we love it any time Georgia head coach Mark Fox loses.
On Monday night it was Spencer Dinwiddie’s turn to set the tone offensively for CU during a résumé-building 70-68 victory over Georgia at the Coors Events Center.
The true freshman scored nine of his 16 points in the first half to lead the Buffs (4-2), who racked up their third consecutive victory and extended the program’s home winning streak against non-conference opponents to 26 dating back to the 2008-09 season.
Dinwiddie, who averaged 4.8 points and was shooting 23.3 percent from the field through the first five games, knocked down a 3-pointer for CU’s first basket and finished4-for-8 shooting and 7-for-8 at the line.
Down at that fine, aging establishment known as the LA Sports Arena, the UCLA Bruins picked up their first non-conference win over a Division I team of the season, rolling to a 62-39 win over Pepperdine.
Not that there were many around to see it. An announced crowd of 3,885 that seemed less than half that number included a student section 34 strong.
Those who were there witnessed the Bruins’ best defense of the season as they forced 15 turnovers, blocked eight shots and held Pepperdine (3-3) to 31.3% shooting.
“It was a completely different group of guys out there,” said UCLA Coach Ben Howland, whose team had allowed three of its first five opponents to shoot better than 50%.
“We did a much better job rotating, helping, scrambling, supporting one another, switching when we needed to switch. Our team defense was by far the best effort we’ve had all year, and that’s how we have to play.”
Their offense wasn’t too shabby either.
Sophomore forwards David and Travis Wear combined for 18 points, 17 rebounds, five blocks and two lost teeth when Travis Wear ran into an elbow while trying to rebound a free throw.
Jorge Gutierrez, perhaps the beset all-around player in the Pac-12, scored 26 points in 34 minutes to lead No. 24 Cal to a 73-57 win over McNeese State.
Jorge did a really good job,” coach Mike Montgomery said. “He very subtly took over the game. He does what Jorge does. He was very quietly efficient and did his job.”
Gutierrez was supported by Allen Crabbe, who had 20 points, six rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal. Harper Kamp added 10 points, and Richard Solomon had 10 rebounds.
The Cowboys took advantage of Cal’s sloppy, disjointed play in the first half and led for most of the 20 minutes until Crabbe sank a three-point shot at the halftime buzzer to give the Bears a 28-26 lead. Cal did not trail in the second half as it outscored McNeese 45-31.
Stanford, which comes to Key Arena on Thursday to play Seattle U, demolished Pacific, 79-37.
Stanford showed no side effect from its 69-63 loss to No. 5 Syracuse in the final of the NIT Season Tip-Off last week at Madison Square Garden.
But there is a feeling of promise at Stanford where coach Johnny Dawkins has attracted a lot of talent that has yet to reach its potential.
“That was a tough game to lose on that kind of stage,” freshman Chasson Randle said. “We use that as motivation every day in practice.”
Randle is one of the most promising of the newcomers. He made all five of his field goals, including four 3-pointers, for 14 points Monday. Randle’s play was augmented by 6-foot-8 center Josh Owens, who also displayed uncanny accuracy for the Cardinal (6-1). He had 14 points on 7-of-8 shooting and added a team-leading seven rebounds.