In the Bears' 62-57 loss to No. 9 Arizona on Saturday, he played just six first-half minutes, and finished with a meek four points, four rebounds and one assist in 26 minutes, with three turnovers and without a single trip to the free throw line. It was arguably his worst game as a collegian, and the second time in Pac-12 play that he's failed to record double digits in either points or rebounds. The last time that happened? A six-point, four-rebound performance against No. 11 Oregon.
While Arizona's biggest stars -- Allonzo Trier and Lauri Markkanen -- combined to play just 12 minutes before intermission, without Rabb -- and with freshman point guard Charlie Moore unavailable for the second half due to a hip injury -- Cal couldn't muster enough firepower to overcome a much deeper Wildcats side. Arizona only got three points from Trier (averaging 15.5 since returning from suspension), but got 25 points off the bench, led by a team-high 13 from freshman Kobi Simmons.
http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1754219-bear-republic-podc... The Bears (18-7, 9-4 in Pac-12) saw their five-game winning streak snapped, as a hot start from beyond the arc (5-of-13 in the first half) gave way to a 1-for-6 second half from beyond the arc. Cal hit just two of its last 13 three-point shots.
With Rabb going just 2-for-7 on the night, and Moore out for the final 25 minutes, the Bears were out of sync intermission. The only offensive pulse Cal showed was in the person of Jabari Bird. The senior wing scored a game-high 19, including 13 in the second half, finishing 6-of-12 from the field. Apart from Bird's 4-of-7 mark from the field in the second half, the Bears shot 7-for-18 (38.9%).
Cal, the No. 8 team in the nation in terms of defensive efficiency, couldn't get out of its own way on offense, allowing seven points off of six turnovers in the first half, and 13 points on 11 turnovers on the game.
Turning the ball over has been enough of a bugaboo for the Bears this season, but when those turnovers lead to extra chances for a team that came out shooting 51.9% from the field, the oft-sluggish Cal offense (151st in the nation in terms of adjusted offensive efficiency) couldn't keep up. Arizona (23-3, 12-1) scored 1.016 points per possession, while the Bears scored 0.934 points per possession.
After playing less than five possessions of man defense against Arizona State on Wednesday, in perhaps the Bears' most complete game of the season, Cal went back to man-to-man defense against an Arizona team that had struggled mightily over the last three games with zone defense. The Bears played no more than two possessions of zone defense before the break, and none after, as the Wildcats started the game 4-of-5 from three-point range.
Simmons -- who had recently been relegated to the bench -- led all comers in the first half with 10 points, despite the fact that 11 of Arizona's first 17 shots went through their big men.
That equation shifted, as Markkanen and Chance Comanche went to the bench with two early fouls. After Cal took an 18-17 lead on a Stephen Domingo three, with 7:35 to go, four of Arizona's next 10 shots came from the bigs for the remainder of the first half.
Domingo played a season-high 29 minutes, largely because of Rabb's foul trouble.
Moore played 12 minutes in the first half, scoring two points with a rebound and two assists, but after a nifty post entry pass to Kameron Rooks with 5:40 to give Cal a 20-19 lead, he exited and did not return. Moore had 26 assists to 12 turnovers in his last four games, and with him on the floor, the Bears had seven assists on its first eight baskets. After he left, Cal only tallied 4 helpers on its final 12 makes.
The Bears got down by as many as 11 in the second half, before creeping back into the game. Two free throws by Bird -- who had two of Cal's five three-pointers in the first half -- with 11:23 to go brought the Bears to within four, but Rabb still struggled to find a handle.
As Rabb struggled, Dusan Ristic gained steam, scoring four points and pulling down two rebounds in the first 10 minutes of the second half, and finishing the game 6-of-13 (the most shots of any player, on both teams) for 12 points. Because Ristic shot almost exclusively from the top of the key, and not in the low post, he didn't have a single trip to the foul line, as Cal's bigs sagged off of him.
http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1753756-cal-takes-momentum... The Bears got to within four again, down 55-51 with 3:10 to go, thanks to a pair of free throws from Rooks, but after wall-off defense down low by Rooks on Rawle Alkins, the Bears' next possession ended in a turnover. Kadeem Allen poked away a pass by Bird to lead to a three-on-one run-out, ending in an Alkins dunk.
With 1:09 left, and down by six, Cal was able to get the in-bound to Bird for a three off the catch, but his attempt hit off the back iron. A clutch rebound by senior Sam Singer on the baseline gave the Bears another shot, this time with Grant Mullins in the corner, but that, too, was no good.
Moore was diagnosed after the game with a bruised hip. He is day-to-day.
With the loss, the Bears now have just one more chance to get a win over a ranked team this season, when they host the Ducks on Feb. 22, which will be a "Gold Out" game, at 6 p.m. Cal is 1-5 this season against ranked teams. That game will be a part of a three-game stretch in the Bay Area. Cal next hits the court against Stanford, on Feb. 17, at Maples Pavilion at 7 p.m., on FS1. If you're a Scout member, you can get 10% off of tickets. Purchase Tickets HERE.
Cal held Arizona to 8-of-23 shooting in the second half, but was out-rebounded, 19-12, after the break. Markkanen finished with six points in 22 minutes, while Comanche finished with eight points and five rebounds in 17. The Wildcats have now won 20 straight at McKale Center.
In his first game back in Arizona since the death of his father, Arizona star Sean Rooks, Kameron Rooks scored 10 points and tallied six rebounds. Rooks now has 26 points in his last three games, after scoring just 24 in his first eight games after returning from knee surgery.
Rooks went 3-of-5 from the floor, and 4-for-4 from the free throw line. As a team, Cal went 11-of-12 from the charity stripe. That 91.7% mark was a season high. Arizona went 13-of-19.
Bird has now hit at least on three-pointer in a career-long 15 straight games. Mullins went 2-of-4 from three, marking the ninth straight game in which he's hit at least two three-pointers. Over that stretch, Mullins is 22-for-54 (40.7%) from beyond the arc.