Jan. 13, 2012
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) - Harper Kamp hasn't had to do much scoring for California this season. Still, the Golden Bears feel pretty confident leaning on their big man when necessary.
Kamp had his most productive night offensively in nearly two months and provided just enough of a lift with 14 points, including a critical baseline layup with 49.7 seconds left to help lift Cal to a 57-50 win over Colorado on Thursday night.
"It was just a matter of me going out with a little more confidence and having confidence in my jumper," said Kamp, who added eight rebounds and two assists. "I've been having my struggles here and there. I just had to focus and help the team any way I could."
Kamp's night coincided with a ragged performance from the Bears two leading scorers.
Allen Crabbe didn't make his first shot until nearly seven minutes into the second half and finished with only nine points, ending his streak of 12 games in double figures. Jorge Gutierrez wasn't much better, scoring five points on 2 of 17 shooting.
"Somebody had to score or we were going to be in deep trouble," Cal coach Mike Montgomery said. "Harper played well. That is the kind of thing we expect from him, need from him."
It wasn't easy--and it certainly wasn't pretty for either team.
The Bears shot just 35.1 percent and were outrebounded 40-36 but ended the game on a 6-0 run to remain unbeaten at home this season.
Andre Roberson had 11 points and 14 rebounds for Colorado (11-5, 3-1), which had won six straight overall before suffering its first Pac-12 loss.
The Buffaloes led by seven at halftime but made only six baskets in the second half and committed 17 turnovers to lose in their first road game since Nov. 30.
It was also the first meeting between the two schools since Colorado joined the Pac-12, though the teams met in the second round of the NIT last season. The Buffaloes, former members of the Big 12, won that game 89-72 on March 18 but couldn't repeat it in their first visit to Haas Pavilion.
Colorado's aggressive and quick defense held the Bears to a season-low 22 points in the first half, but couldn't keep it up despite holding Crabbe and Gutierrez in check most of the way.
"They are in pretty good position (defensively) all the time," Kamp said of Colorado, which held Cal to 31 percent shooting in the first half. "We knew going in they have good defensive principles and they stuck to that."
Justin Cobbs added 12 points and five rebounds to help the Bears (14-4, 4-1) move into a tie for the Pac-12 lead with Bay Area rival Stanford.
California did it despite an off night from its two leading scorers, Crabbe and Jorge Gutierrez, who went a combined 4 of 26 from the floor.
With the two struggling, Cal fell behind early, then rallied to tie the game midway through the second half before taking a 47-45 lead on Kamp's 14-footer with 5:08 left.
Cobbs later made two free throws and Richard Solomon scored on a dunk to make it 51-45. Carlon Brown's quick jumper and Austin Dufault's third 3-pointer pulled Colorado within 51-50 with 1:15 remaining before Cal closed it out.
"It gave us a lot of confidence that we can win when things don't go our way," Cobbs said.
Dufault finished with 19 points and six rebounds.
Colorado entered the night holding opponents to just 39 percent shooting, and the pattern held true early against Cal. The Bears missed seven of their first 10 shots and 14 of 19, allowing the Buffaloes to build an 18-11 lead.
Kamp stopped the slide with a reverse layup under the basket but California's top two scorers, Crabbe and Gutierrez, were struggling.
Gutierrez missed his first eight shots, including an easy layup, while Crabbe went scoreless in the first half.
Colorado didn't look much sharper offensively but the Buffaloes kept getting to the free-throw line and took a 29-22 halftime lead after Dufault's 3-pointer with 8.4 seconds left.