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Cal Faces Stanford with Pac-12 Title on the Line
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  02/28/2012

Feb. 28, 2012

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Game #31
California (23-7, 13-4 Pac-12) at Stanford (19-10, 9-8)
Maples Pavilion | Stanford, Calif.
Sunday, March 4 - 2:30 p.m. PT
Series Record: California leads, 144-114
Last 10 vs. Stanford: 5-5
Current Streak: California, 2
Last Meeting: W, 69-59 (Jan. 29, 2012 | Berkeley, Calif.)
Radio: NewsTalk 910AM (Roxy Bernstein and Todd McKim)
Satellite Radio: SiriusXM 92 | XM Satellite 190
TV: FSN/CSN BA (Steve Physioc and Marques Johnson)
Opponent Web: www.GoStanford.com

BERKELEY - The Golden Bears (23-7, 13-4 Pac-12) have their sights set on a share of the first-ever Pac-12 title with just one more foe in the way; Bay Area rival Stanford (19-10, 9-8). Cal will cross the Bay to close the regular season at Maples Pavilion on Sunday afternoon. While the rivalry is alive and well, Cal has much more to play for than just bragging rights, this time. The Bears can also secure the top seed in the Pacific Life Pac-12 Tournament with a victory and can reach 14 conference wins for the first time since 1958-59.

Cal also needs one more win to match its 24-win total from the 2009-10 Pac-10 championship season. Only twice have the Bears ever reached 14 conference wins; both the 1956-57 and 1958-59 squads accomplished the feat. Each team went 14-2 and won the Pacific Coast Conference title.

Head coach Mike Montgomery is just the second coach in Cal history to record at least 10 conference wins in four consecutive seasons. Only Pete Newell has a longer streak with five seasons (1955-60).

Cal's season-high six-game winning streak was snapped by Colorado last Sunday, but the Bears have not lost more than one game in a row at any point, this year. Something will have to give as the Bears are 2-8 in their last 10 visits to Maples Pavilion. Cal has won just four of its last six regular-season finales, but Montgomery has bucked that trend to lead the Bears to wins in each of the last two years.

If Cal is to start another winning streak as the regular season comes to a close, it will need to lean on its senior leaders. F Harper Kamp has come on strong in the last six games for the Bears and now averages 11.1 ppg and 5.0 rpg. G Jorge Gutierrez puts in 13.0 ppg and nabs 5.4 rpg. In the backcourt, Justin Cobbs (13.0 ppg, 4.9 apg) and Allen Crabbe (15.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg) have been integral to the Cal offense.

GAME RECAP (COLORADO): The Buffaloes celebrated their senior day by holding the Golden Bears to 38-percent shooting (19-for-50) in the game to win, 70-57, at the Coors Center in Boulder, Colo. Cal trailed by as many as 15 points but got within five points with 6:50 left in the game. Colorado stayed the course and snapped a six-game Cal winning streak as it pulled away to win by 13 points; the first time, this season that the Bears have lost by double-digits to a conference opponent. The loss put Washington into sole possession of first place in the Pac-12 and leaves the Bears in position to clinch at least second place with a season-finale victory over Stanford. Cal came alive in the second half after shooting just 34-percent in the first and was sparked by sophomore G Allen Crabbe who finished with 16 points with three three-pointers to his credit. Sophomore G Justin Cobbs dished out six assists and came up with 15 points down the stretch. Senior F Harper Kamp had 13 points of just eight shots and added two blocks to his final line. For the Buffaloes, Andre Roberson continued his dominance of the boards in the Pac-12 as he grabbed 15 rebounds and blocked three shots to go with eight points. Senior F Austin Dufault celebrated his final home game with 15 points and freshman G Spencer Dinwiddie poured in 15 points with two late three-point strikes. The Bears fell to 1-8 in games at Boulder. Though he grabbed nine rebounds, senior G Jorge Gutierrezwas held scoreless for just the ninth time in 125 career games; the first time since a game against Stanford on Jan. 2, 2010.

BUILDING A CASE: Although the Pac-12 has played through the national perception that it is a weak conference this season, the Bears have climbed the ratings as the year has progressed. As of February 27, Cal was rated 24th in the Pomeroy College Basketball Ratings (www.kenpom.com) and 25th in the Sagarin Ratings Index (www.usatoday.com/sports/sagarin/bkt1112.htm). The Bears opened the season ranked in both the AP and Coaches Top 25 polls but have been unranked for several weeks.


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