Cal head coach Cuonzo Martin praises the work junior Jabari Bird has put in after 23-point night

BERKELEY -- Cal head coach Cuonzo Martin breaks down how tough it was to contain Gary Payton II, Jabari Bird's hard work paying off and how much he wanted to use Kingsley Okoroh.

Head Coach Cuonzo Martin

Opening Statement
“Good win. Three straight at home is always good. I thought we had great crowd energy. They fed off that. It was good to see Jabari (Bird) play well again. I’m just really happy for him because he put in so much work and time into it, and to see that pay off is great. But this was a tough, rugged game, which we figured it would be. That’s how Oregon State plays. They’re a physical brand. They grind you out, and a guy like Gary Payton II is all over the floor. It’s amazing what he does at that point guard position. The energy he brings and the steals he gets. he’s all over the place. He’s impressive, but a good win for our guys.”

On missing 18 free throws
“It’s not a concern. I know they practice those. I don’t get consumed with it because I know they spend time on it. You’d like for all of them to fall, but like I tell the guys, ‘You can’t let it bog you down.’ Just because you miss some, you still have to get back and defend. You still have to play hard and do the things we have to do to win the basketball game. It’s not a concern because we spend time on it, and they’ll fall.” junior Jabari Bird
“I just think at some point it all clicks and you just have a comfort level. I mean, any time a guy shoots the ball, you like to see shots go in and that gives you a level of confidence, and the other parts of your game start to show, the shot fake, the dribble-drive, finishing around the rim and making free throws. He puts a lot of time into it and he works extremely hard. I told him a while back, ‘You put all that time into it for a reason. You work on your game. You spend so many hours in the gym and on your own with shot fakes, ball handling, free throws and jump shots. You have to have the confidence to continue to do it.’ It’s not that he didn’t have confidence, but it’s just one of those deals where when he’s wide open for a three-pointer. If he makes it, he’ll keep shooting it, but if he misses it, and that same shot is open, he’ll do a shot fake, pull up and make it tougher on him.  You have to take what the defense gives you. If he takes 10 three’s in that spot and those are shots you practice, then take 10 three’s.”

On playing on the road
“Every road game we’ve played hasn’t been one where I said we aren’t going to win this, let’s just try to make it competitive. In most cases, and you obviously have to give credit for the opposing team for winning their games, but turnovers, key breakdowns and missed free throws, those things cost you a game. You can’t have those mental breakdowns at the level where it’s a close game and all of a sudden it goes from six to eight and now you’re down and you have to fight your way back into it. That’s been our dilemma on the road, to just really execute every possession on offense and defense, taking good shots and not getting rid of the ball too quick. We’ll get better at it.”


With Saturday's 83-71 win over Oregon State, the Golden Bears improved to 16-0 at Haas Pavilion this season, and are enjoying a 17-game home winning streak dating back to last season. Cal has not gone undefeated at Harmon Gym/Haas Pavilion since the 1959-60 season.

The home winning streak is tied for second longest in school history. Cal improved to 7-0 on the home court in Pac-12 play this season. The last time the Bears won their first seven conference home games was in the 2002-03 season.

After the Bears and Beavers traded baskets early, Cal went on an 8-1 run to take a 15-7 lead at the 13-minute mark in the first half. Cal never trailed in the game. Four Bears reached double figures in scoring, led by Bird's 23. Senior point guard Tyrone Wallace, in his second game back from injury, finished with 17. Freshman Jaylen Brown had 15, and junior wing Jordan Mathews had 14. It was the 18th time this season that the Bears have had at least four players reach double figures in scoring.

After tying his career high with 24 points on Thursday, Bird paced the Bears in scoring again today, finishing with 23, including shooting 4-for-8 from three-point range. Today was Bird’s eighth game this season of making at least three treys and his third making four. In his last three games he has shot 12-for-21 from behind the arc. Saturday marked his sixth career 20-point performance and the first time he’s had back-to-back 20-point games in his career. Bird also collected seven rebounds, two shy of his career and season highs.

With 14 points, Mathews increased his career total to 1,073, which moved him up to 37th place on Cal’s all-time scoring list. Ed Gray (1996-97) is 36th with 1,082 career points. With two three-pointers today, Mathews’ 66 treys this season rank sixth on Cal’s single-season list and his 178 career three-pointers rank fifth on the school’s career list.

Brown moved up the ranks on Cal’s freshman scoring list, now with 394 points, he passed Lamond Murray (1991-92) for sixth on the list. Leon Powe (2003-04) is fifth with 409.

Wallace, with his 17 points today, now has 1,501 career points, which ranks 11th on Cal’s career scoring list. Current Portland Trailblazers guard Allen Crabbe (2011-13) is 10th with 1,537. Wallace became the 11th player in the history of the program to score 1,500 career points.

Kingsley Okoroh's seven points today are the second-most he’s totaled this year. He notched a career high of 10 against Colorado earlier this season.

Cal hit the 40-point mark in the first half for the ninth time this year with its 41 points in the opening half tonight.

The Bears improved to 83-61 in the all-time series against Oregon State.

Attendance was 10,906, the third straight game Cal has broken the 10,600 mark. Top Stories