Bears Hope To Rebound against Cougars
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  02/11/2011

Feb. 11, 2011

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California (13-11, 6-6) at Washington State (16-8, 6-6)
Date: Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011
Time: 3 p.m. PT
Location: Beasley Coliseum, Pullman, Wash.
TV: None- Webcast
Radio: KNEW 910 / XM 193 / Sirius 212

After getting blown out at Washington on Thursday night, California goes for a weekend split on Saturday at Washington State. The Golden Bears (13-11, 6-6) face the Cougars Saturday, Feb. 12, at 3 p.m. at Beasley Coliseum.

Thursday's game in Seattle was over early, as the Huskies took an early stranglehold on the game and never relinquished it. Despite suffering the big loss, junior guard Jorge Gutierrez led the Bears with 24 points and seven rebounds, which tied his season high. Giving the bench players some quality minutes, redshirt freshman Jeff Powers posted a career-high 13 points in 20 minutes of playing time.

The biggest long-term consequence from Thursday's game may be the potential loss of freshman guard Allen Crabbe. Already a major contributor as a freshman, Crabbe suffered a mild concussion while driving to the basket against Washington on Thursday, left the game and did not return. Crabbe's status is uncertain for the game against the Cougars.

Over his past five games, Gutierrez has scored 100 points (20.0 ppg), going 37-for-47 from the free throw line in the process. He reached his new career high of 25 points last Saturday against Arizona, prior to his 24-point effort against the Huskies on Thursday.

Sophomore guard Brandon Smith has taken the role as the team's primary point guard, and is currently second on the team in assists, averaging 3.7 a game. He has recorded at least one steal in nine of the 13 games since he's taking over as the starting point guard, including a season-high of three against Arizona last Saturday. In addition, Cal has been much cleaner with the basketball with Smith at the point. Three times in the last seven games the Bears have recorded a season-low in turnovers, including the new season low of seven earned against Arizona State on Feb. 3. Smith and Gutierrez both rank in the top five in the conference in assists per game.

Second on the team at 15.4 ppg in conference play ( Harper Kamp 16.5), 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. Already becoming a go-to player, Crabbe posted 27 points in 54 minutes of play against Arizona last Saturday.