March 11, 2010
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Jerome Randle scored 22 points without missing a shot in the first half, and top-seeded California easily advanced to the Pac-10 tournament semifinals with a 90-74 victory over Oregon on Thursday.
Patrick Christopher had 21 points and five assists for the Golden Bears (22-9), who followed up their first outright conference title in a half-century by sending home the weary Ducks (16-16) in what could be coach Ernie Kent's final game.
Randle went 8 for 8 with four 3-pointers in the first half, staking Cal to a 15-point lead. Jamal Boykin then scored all 15 of his points in the second half to finish the eighth-seeded Ducks, who were taken to overtime by Washington State in their first-round game Wednesday night.
Cal will face UCLA on Friday.
"I just have these moments sometimes," Randle said. "It just feels good. When I hit the third shot, it just felt like I wasn't going to miss."
Tajuan Porter scored 26 points and broke the Pac-10 career record for 3-pointers, but Oregon's defense couldn't slow down the versatile Bears, who made 16 of their first 22 shots and seized control late in the first half of their third win over Oregon this season. Randle didn't score while playing just eight minutes in the second half of his 34th 20-point game at Cal, but the Bears got plenty of help from Boykin and Christopher, who hit five 3-pointers.
Kent reportedly has already been told he won't return next season to Oregon, where he became the winningest coach in school history with 235 victories over 13 years in Eugene. Barring a postseason berth, Kent coached his final game with energy, constantly jumping up from his stool to urge on the Ducks as Cal overwhelmed them.
Kent was the last member of the Oregon crew to leave the Staples Center court, getting claps on the back from players and the Ducks mascot.
"Thanks, coach! We love you!" shouted a lone fan near the Oregon bench.
LeKendric Longmire had 16 points and seven rebounds for the Ducks, and Malcolm Armstead added 10 points.
Cal is the top seed in the Pac-10 tournament for the first time in school history after winning the regular-season title with four seniors in its starting lineup.
"That was a game we needed to have," Cal coach Mike Montgomery said. "We shot the ball well, and when we do that, we're fairly efficient and it makes us hard to beat."
While Randle moved within 10 points of Sean Lampley's career scoring record at Cal, Christopher is just one point behind Kevin Johnson for fifth place on the Bears' career list.
When the Pac-10's two dominant, diminutive guards from the Midwest went head-to-head in the first half, the 5-foot-10 Randle mostly outplayed the 5-foot-7 Porter. Randle, the conference player of the year, set the tone in an early 9-second span when he hit a 3-pointer from three steps behind the line, then made a steal and put a behind-the-back move on two Oregon defenders for a breathtaking layup.
Porter tied the Pac-10 3-pointers record set by Arizona's Salim Stoudamire in
2005 in the opening minutes, and he established a new mark with his 343rd career
3-pointer with 12:06 left in the first half. The senior guard scored 32 points in
the Ducks' overtime victory over Washington State in Wednesday's opening round.