Bears Go For Back-To-Back Road Wins at Oregon State
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  02/25/2011

Feb. 25, 2011

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California (15-13, 8-8) at Oregon State (10-16, 5-10)
Date: Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011
Time: 3 p.m. PT
Location: Gil Coliseum, Corvallis, Ore.
TV: CSN Calif.
Radio: KNEW 910 / XM 193 / Sirius 214

Coming off a huge second-half comeback and victory over Oregon on Thursday, California (15-13, 8-8) goes for back-to-back road wins this week. The Golden Bears face Oregon State (10-16, 5-10) Saturday at 3 p.m. at Gil Coliseum.

Junior guard Jorge Gutierrez once again paced Cal in scoring with 23 points on Thursday at Matthew Knight Arena. Gutierrez had a quiet first half, as did most of the Bears (Cal trailed by 11 at the half), but Gutierrez picked it up when it mattered most. Sophomore guard Brandon Smith had his biggest game as a Bear, recording a career-high 18 points, shooting 4-for-5 from behind the arc. Smith kept Cal in the game in the first half, and later nailed a huge trey late in the second half.

Over his past nine games, Gutierrez has scored 189 points (21.0 ppg), going 67-for-80 from the free throw line in the process.

Senior center Markhuri Sanders-Frison remains one of the Pac-10's most efficient shooters at 60.2 percent that ranks second in the conference. He has been the Bears' leading rebounder all season with a current average of 7.3 rpg. Rebounding has been critical for the Bears, as they are 14-4 thus far when outrebounding their opponents. Second on the team in rebounding (5.8), junior forward Harper Kamp has been an efficient free throw shooter for Cal with a team-best percentage of 82.0 (third in Pac-10).

After missing two games recently with a concussion, freshman guard Allen Crabbe has returned to action showing no rust. Crabbe notched 19 points against the Ducks on Thursday, racking up four three-pointers of his own. In conference games, Crabbe leads the Pac-10 in minutes played at 36.4 mpg. Gutierrez is second (35.9), and four Bears total rank in the top 10.

Smith has been a huge factor for Cal offensively in recent weeks as the team's starting point guard, and is currently second on the team in assists, averaging 3.9 a game after dishing out a game-high six assists at Oregon on Thursday. After entering the USC game on Jan. 22 with only one trey to his credit, he has gone on to shoot 15-for-26 from three-point distance since that game. He has recorded at least one steal in 12 of the 17 games since he's taken over as the starting point guard, including a season-high of three against Arizona on Feb. 5 and at Oregon on Thursday. Gutierrez and Smith both rank in the top six in the conference in assists per game - Gutierrez 4.3, Smith 3.9. Both of the Cal guard's efforts have been crucial to the overall team play, as the Bears are currently 14-4 when they amass more assists than the opposition.