Bears Stave Off Washington State

The California Golden Bears overcame an early 11-point deficit to beat Washington State, 71-63, on Saturday night in a Pac-10 contest at Haas Pavilion. Patrick Christopher and Jerome Randle led Cal with 20 points apiece. The Bears improve to 18-6, 7-4 in Pac-10 play…

The three-headed monster of Jerome Randle, Patrick Christopher, and Theo Robertson carried the California past a very game Washington State team as the Golden Bears pulled out a key Pac-10 conference win.

Christopher had not scored in double-digits in three games. But he broke out of that slump with 20 points, three rebounds and one steal. Randle was deadly from the outside going 4-of-5 from "downtown" and many coming from way beyond the arc.

The night did not start so well for Cal as the Cougars jumped out to a 16-5 lead behind the shooting duo of Taylor Rochestie and Klay Thompson. They drained seven three-pointers between them.

After falling down by 11 early, Cal went on a 20-2 run of their own. Great defense and hustle by Harper Kamp and Jorge Gutierrez sparked the comeback. But the 3-point shooting was the key to the win. Cal is the nation's leader in 3-point shooting as a team and has the nation's No. 1 shooter in that category in Robertson.

As well as the Bears shot from 3-point range, the game was still in doubt as the Cougars also shot the ball well and proved hard to put away.

Former NBA Player Mycheal Thompson's son, Klay, hit back to back deep 3's to tie the game with 2;51 left to tie the game at 60. Then the man Cal counts on most in the clutch, Junior guard Jerome Randle made two from the charity stripe and followed it up with the assist of the season on a pick-and-roll play to Robertson. The Bears went on to finish the game on an 11-3 run.

The win keeps Cal three games behind first place UCLA in the Pac-10.

Game Notes

  • Cal became the first Pac-10 team this season to score 70 points against Washington State. Gonzaga is the only other team this year to score 70 on the Cougars.
  • The Bears swept the season series with both Washington schools for the first time since 2003. Cal is now 70-45 all time against Washington State.
  • Cal's 66.7% shooting from behind the arc ties for the second-best performance of the season. The Bears also shot 66.7% against San Francisco, and they shot 70% at UNLV.
  • Saturday night's contest marked the sixth time this season Cal shot at least 80% from the free-throw line.
  • For the second-straight contest, the Bears were victorious after trailing at the half. Washington State led, 33-30, and Washington led, 32-30, on Thursday night.

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