Bears Look to Keep Winning Streak Going Vs. No. 21 Arizona
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  02/04/2011

Feb. 4, 2011

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California (13-9, 6-4) vs. Arizona (19-4, 8-2)
Date: Saturday, Feb. 5, 2011
Time: 5 p.m. PT
Location: Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, Calif.
TV: CSN Calif.
Radio: KNEW 910

California concludes its four-game homestand going for its fifth win in a row on Saturday. The Golden Bears (13-9, 6-4) will face the conference leader No. 21 Arizona, Saturday, Feb. 5, at 5 p.m. at Haas Pavilion.

Cal defeated Arizona State on Thursday, 66-62, at Haas Pavilion. Junior guard Jorge Gutierrez put together another solid outing, registering team highs in scoring (18), rebounds (7) and assists (6). Gutierrez did not score the biggest basket of the night, however. The big shot belonged to freshman guard Allen Crabbe, who had been having an off-night shooting. Crabbe swished a three-pointer with 15 seconds remaining to all but seal the win for the Bears. Crabbe also contributed a momentum-shifting five-point play earlier in the game when Cal was down by four. After being fouled on a three-point shot, Crabbe made the first two free throws, snagged the rebound on the third one and found sophomore guard Brandon Smith who drained a trey.

Thursday's game was Cal's fifth Pac-10 game decided by four points or less (3-2).

Over his past three games, Gutierrez has scored 51 points (17.0 ppg), going 26-31 from the free throw line in the process. In the previous four games, he averaged just 8.3 ppg (33 total points).

A team that doesn't have a lot of depth on the bench, Cal has gotten strong consistent performances game-by-game from Gutierrez, Crabbe, junior forward Harper Kamp and senior center Markhuri Sanders-Frison. The quartet has collectively reached double figures in scoring seven times this season, including the last three games, compiling a record of 5-2 in those contests.

Smith has taken the role as the team's primary point guard, and is currently second on the team in assists, averaging 3.4 a game. Smith has recorded at least one steal in eight of the 11 games since he's taking over as the starting point guard. In addition, Cal has been much cleaner with the basketball with Smith at the point. Three times in the last five games the Bears have recorded a season-low in turnovers, including the new season low of seven earned Thursday night against ASU.

Since the start of Pac-10 play, nobody has come on stronger for the Bears than Crabbe. Second on the team at 15.6 ppg in conference play (Kamp 15.7), Crabbe has shown more aggressiveness on the court since the start of Pac-10 play. His success was highlighted by his career-high 30 points against Washington State on Jan. 13 after tying his then-season high of 17 points in the previous two games. Crabbe has hit double figures in the last nine consecutive games. In those games, he is averaging 16.5 ppg.

Probable Starters

POS     NO      NAME                    HT      WT      YR      PPG     RPG
F       22      Harper Kamp             6-8     245     Jr.     14.3    5.5
Reached double figures in last 11 games
C       10      Markhuri Sanders-Frison 6-7     265     Sr.     11.0    7.9
Scored career-high 18 points vs. Oregon
G       2       Jorge Gutierrez         6-3     195     Jr.     12.6    4.5(A)
Led Cal vs. Arizona State with 18 points, seven rebounds and six assists
G       23      Allen Crabbe            6-6     205     Fr.     11.7    5.6
Nailed a clutch shot to seal the victory against Arizona State
G       12      Brandon Smith           5-11    185     So.     5.5     3.4 (APG)
Secured 11 points and three assists, including a big trey, vs. ASU