Having built a 19-15 lead on an Anderson three with 10:51 left in the half, Ben Braun went to the bench. A lineup of Harrison, Vierneisel, Randle, Robinson and Pribble was ineffective. Fueled by Cal turnovers, the Beavers began a 12-0 run. Kyle Jeffers' dunk made it 27-19 for Oregon State. Ryan Anderson's drive off a feed from Ubaka with 6:26 left ended the four-minute drought, and the Bears stabilized. They stopped turning the ball over and began to ride their freshman star.
Trailing 30-23, Cal closed the half with a 9-1 run. An Omar Wilkes floater through the OSU zone made it 31-29, and Anderson's long three-pointer on a feed from Randle gave the Bears the lead at the half, 32-31.
Anderson finished the half with 18 points on 6 of 8 from the floor, and added 4 rebounds. Cal killer Sasa Cuic finished with 13 points and Marcel Jones added 8. Cal shot 46% for the half, and out-rebounded the Beavers 19-11. OSU made 52% from the floor in the opening half.
In the second half, Oregon State adjusted their defense against Cal's ball screens. In the first half, OSU helped off Ryan Anderson and focused their defense on Ayinde Ubaka. As a result, Cal's senior guard was held to two points, while Anderson burned the Beavers for 18.
Coming out of the locker room, Jay John decided to pick a different poison.
As Ben Braun said, "They had a heck of a decision. Do they come out for Ryan Anderson on the ball screen? If they do, he's stepping back and finding his range. So (in the second half) they jammed and go under (the screen), which is what a lot of teams do.
"Ayinde recognizes the defense, he makes the read. I thought he made every right read at the end of the game. He kept the ball in his hands, penetrated and got the foul call."
Ubaka made the Beavers pay for their defensive adjustment with 20 points after the intermission.
Theo Robertson opened the second half scoring with a monster slam on a baseline drive, and Vierneisel followed with a three to put Cal up 6. The Bears never trailed again. After Jerome Randle drove to the goal and scored with 7 minutes to play to put Cal up 59-53, Ubaka took over. He scored Cal's next 11 points, and his three from the left corner on a feed from Omar Wilkes made it 70-64 with two minutes left.
|AP Photo/Ryan Gardner
Meanwhile, Marcel Jones was taking over for OSU. Jones topped Ubaka's string with 13 consecutive points, and his corner three-pointer after a Beaver steal brought the home team to within one at 73-72 with 21.5 seconds remaining. Ubaka hit two free throws with 17.4 seconds left to make it a three point lead for Cal, but Jack McGillis' layup made it 75-74 with 8.2 seconds left.
immediately fouled Anderson and the freshman calmly dropped both free throws
through with 7.4 seconds left. Cal elected not to foul, and the Beavers
did not get a shot off, as McGillis' jumper was after the buzzer. Ben
Braun hustled his team off the floor with a narrow escape.
Jones finished with 29 points on 10-15 from the floor, with 21 points coming in the second half.
Cal won this game despite occasional breakdowns on defense. OSU shot 53% for the game, and beat the Bears on dribble penetration as well as in transition. Cal will need to improve in those areas against Oregon in Eugene on Saturday if they hope to compete with the high-flying Ducks. On the plus side, the Bears hit 59% of their shots in the second half, and 52% for the game. They will need to shoot the ball well to stay in the game with Oregon.
- Cal won the rebounding battle for the second straight game, 33-24.
- The Bears made 17 of 20 free throws while their opponent made just 12-22. Ben Braun continues to do a great job teaching free throw defense.
- After consecutive sub-par shooting games from outside the arc, Cal made 10 of 25 three-pointers.
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