I wanted to wait and wrap up the rest of the Pac-12 weekend until tonight’s games got over with. So Cal and Washington sit alone atop the standings at 7-2. I think most would agree they are the best two teams in the conference with Arizona and Oregon not far behind.
Allen Crabbe had a big game for Cal and Jorge Gutierrez had 11 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and two steals. The best part is that Gutierrez doesn’t think it’s a rivarly. He treats every game like it’s a rivalry.
From Jeff Faraudo’s game story ….
“Personally, I don’t think it’s a rivalry,” he said after the Golden Bears posted a 69-59 win over the Cardinal on Sunday to move into a tie for first place in the Pac-12 Conference. “Like Coach (Mike Montgomery) said, whoever sits at the top — that’s our rival. We want to end up in first.”
For now, the Bears (17-5) sit at the top with Washington, both 7-2 at the halfway point of the conference schedule. Oregon and Colorado are 6-3, Stanford, Arizona and UCLA tied for fifth at 5-4.
“It’s just a question of how many people you’re going to be tied with,” Montgomery said of the congestion at the top of the standings. “Everybody’s trying to separate, and it’s not happening very much. We have to win at home, and we did.”
Playing before a capacity crowd of 11,877, Cal stayed unbeaten in 14 games at Haas Pavilion. “The crowd was like I used to remember it when I came over before,” said Montgomery, in his fourth season in Berkeley after 18 years at Stanford.
“It was a great environment for us,” Gutierrez said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen the gym that packed.”
Stanford (15-6), which has lost three straight games — all on the road — will be happy to get back to Maples Pavilion.
“We’ve had a tough stretch,” coach Johnny Dawkins said. “We thought there’d be a lot of parity in this conference, and there has been.”
Here’s John Crumpacker’s story from the SF Chronicle
The Ducks had a chance to stay on pace with the Huskies, but managed to lose to Oregon State at home. The Beavers got 27 points and a big time performance from Jared Cunnigham in the win. From Kevin Hampton’s game story …
“Not only did he have his own pressure for wanting to help his team win, but I put that added pressure on him and he handled it,” Robinson said. “So very big for us today.”
It was OSU’s first conference road win in 13 games.
“It’s our rival school and it was a big game and a great crowd, we had a lot of Beaver fans out there,” Cunningham said. “I think we turned the corner with this win, winning our first road game, especially with it being the Civil War game. It means a lot to Beaver Nation.”
Cunningham broke out of a first-half slump and put together a big second half to push the Beavers over the top.
Cunningham was 1 for 7 from the field and went into halftime with three points but finished with 27. Time after time he attacked the basket and was sent to the line. He wound up hitting 12 of 15 free throws.
I was kind of surprised by this result. I really thought the Buffaloes would sneak out of there with a win. But UCLA finally played a little bit like the team everyone expected. From Chris Foster’s game story …
Lazeric Jones had 17 points, Travis Wear 14, Tyler Lamb 13 and David Wear 11 in a share-the-wealth type performance. The Bruins had a season-high 26 assists.
“That’s how basketball is meant to be played,” Coach Ben Howland said. “I love it that our players get joy out of making a pass that leads to a play.”
Not sure how Washington State can give up 71 points to Arizona State. I didn’t think ASU could score 60 points on any team. But the Sun Devils did just that against WSU. From Doug Haller’s game story …
“Excuse my language, but we’ve been through hell and back,” Felix said. “Definitely we’re all fighting together. We believe. We can only keep going forward.”
ASU broke a three-game losing streak by getting contributions from nearly all of their seven available scholarship players. In addition to Felix, who iced the game with four free throws in the final 18 seconds, Chris Colvin scored a career-high
Brock Motum scored a career high 34 points and DaVonte Lacy added 13, but no other Cougar reached double figures. But their defense is just porous. The Cougs aren’t good in zone or man-to-man. Vince Grippi offers some thoughts on a Saturday of college hoops.
In a matchup of the two worst teams in the league, the Trojans managed to get their first conference win of the season – a decisive win. Columnist Bill Plaschke wrote about how far the Trojans have fallen as a program. And it’s not as if they were up that high in the first place.
From Plaschke’s column …
“It’s painful,” Pat Haden said.
It’s amazing, actually, as if the worst sort of spell has been cast on a marquee college sport in the middle of the world’s entertainment capital.
Somehow, some way, this season’s USC basketball team has just completely disappeared.
Saddled by injuries and past probation defections, the Trojans have won only a handful of games. Saddled with the high expectations of the Trojans nation, they’ve been watched by only a handful of fans.
One minute they are averaging 23 wins a season for three years under Tim Floyd, advancing past the first round of the NCAA tournament in two of those years. Then, three seasons later — poof — they are losing their first eight conference games, failing to score more than 50 points in five of them.
“We’re pinned,” Coach Kevin O’Neill acknowledged. “There’s no moves right now.”
From the Salt Lake Trib, here’s Bill Oram’s game story … one of the Utes big recruits for next season, Josh Hearlihy was on hand to watch the Utes get decimated. I’m sure he’s probably thinking he could start for them right now.