http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1745452-bttv-cuonzo-martin... "I thought we were just a step slow," said head coach Cuonzo Martin.
Both the Bears and Huskies were a step slow on Thursday at Haas Pavilion, with the two teams combining to shoot just 37.3%, but it was Cal that came out on top in a 69-59 win, holding dynamic Washington freshman Markelle Fultz to 3-of-15 shooting on the night for 12 points in 40 minutes.
"He averages 22, 23 points a game, and we said, 'Let's do everything in our power to hold him to 10 under his average. 10 under, that's the focus," Martin said.
The 59 points were a season-low for the Huskies.
"Cal had a lot to do with it," said Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar. "We were not patient enough to attack that type of defense tonight. You have to be patient, swing the ball from side to side, well, they're just waiting for you. You're not making the defense move, you're not making the defense shift, so they had a lot to do with us not only scoring 59 points, and only shooting 35% from the field. They had a lot to do with that."
Cal (12-5, 3-2 in Pac-12) shot just 14-of-39 in the first half, as Washington (8-8, 1-3) held firm in a 2-3 zone which made finding shots anywhere a challenge, as Ivan Rabb got just four shots up. But, by the time all was said and done, the sophomore forward finished 7-of-14 for a game-high 20 points, with 14 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the season, and his fifth in his last six games.
"They kind of make it chaotic and force you to make plays," said Martin. "They don't let you run a lot of set plays, a lot of stuff you like to do. They don't allow you to do that, even outside of their zone, and I thought our guys did a good job in the second half of really settling in, especially the last, well, I shouldn't say that. It was back and forth, back and forth. I guess we did a decent job."
In the second half, it was Stephen Domingo who drew Fultz, and blanketed him on defense, but it was at the free throw line -- where Domingo was 4-of-14 at the line coming in -- where Domingo arguably made the biggest contribution. With 4:13 to go, JuCo transfer guard Dontae Coleman -- who scored 27 points over the last two games -- came into the lane with a head of steam, and as he went up for a lay-up, was bumped by Noah Dickerson, and came down hard on the floor with a resounding thud.
http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1745438-bttv-jabari-bird-3... By rule, Romar was able to pick who took Coleman's foul shots, as he was helped off the floor by trainers. He chose Domingo.
"I figured they would pick him," Martin said.
Domingo sank both free throws, putting Cal up, 61-57.
"Stephen Doming stepped up, guarding the ball, mostly on the point guard, and also switched up some guys," Rabb said. "There was a lot of energy ... I know how hard Stephen Domingo works, so I never doubted that he [wasn't] going to miss the free throws. He hasn't been playing as much, so he's been putting his head down, and he's been working really hard, and he's been positive. I think that positivity helped him when he got into the game. He gave us everything he had.
The Bears finished the game on a 10-2 run, with Rabb scoring six of those 10 points.
"We took one of the bigs out. We went with Ivan, because there was enough time," Martin said. "I think he only had two fouls, so we felt like, at that point, we could go with him. Didn't want to do it if he had three, maybe four fouls. But, since he had two, we felt like we could roll with him. If he got a foul, we'd be OK. Then, we just kind of went with four perimeter guys, and now, you kind of open it up for Ivan to be able to play, so now their bigs, one of those bigs had to come off and guard, or they come with another guard, and we felt like we had a great advantage."
Martin said that Coleman had ice on his lower back, and was walking around, but had no other update as to his health.
Center Kingsley Okoroh played a big part in the first half with Rabb's touches being limited, and finished 3-of-8 for seven points, with nine rebounds, two assists and four blocks. He's now tied for 19th in the nation in blocked shots per game.
"King and Kam (Kameron Rooks) were open up top, quite a bit, so their thing was, let King and Kam beat you," Martin said. "They get the ball up top, deny the wings so they can't pass across. They've got to make plays. That's why King drove it. And, we work on that in practice, with King driving to shoot the ball, because sometimes, that's what presents itself. They weren't letting Ivan make plays like that. They were switching a lot of things. They were making him catch it off the blocks. He'd get too high, they'd front him. He'd get low, they'd front him."
While wing Jabari Bird was mostly passive in the first half, going 2-of-6 from the field (though both were three-pointers), he scored 10 of his 16 points after the break on 4-of-4 shooting, and is now three points shy of 1,000 for his career.
"At the end of the day, as long as we win, I'm happy," Bird said. "They told me after the game that I was a three short of 1,000. Let's get it next game."