Cal Hosts USC Sunday, Eyeing Third-Straight Win
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  02/16/2013

Feb. 16, 2013

California Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

BERKELEY - California looks for its third-straight victory and fifth in its last six games when the Golden Bears host a resurgent USC squad on Sunday at Haas Pavilion at 7:06 p.m. (PT) presented by Lam Research.

Sunday's game will be televised nationally on Fox Sports Net with Steve Physioc handling the play-by-play and Marques Johnson serving as the analyst.

The Cal IMG Sports Network will carry the game on KSFS 910 AM in the Bay Area with Cal alum Roxy Bernstein (play-by-play) and Todd McKim (analyst) on the call. The broadcast is also available online by clicking here. The pre-game show starts at 6:30 p.m. (PT). The broadcast is also available on Sirius channel 93 and XM channel 190.

Sunday's contest against fourth-place USC continues a challenging stretch for the Bears, who face the top four teams in the Pac-12 in six consecutive games. They have taken down the conference leader twice in the last four games, defeating No. 10 Oregon (58-54) and No. 7 Arizona (77-69), and most recently posted a convincing win over second-place UCLA (76-63). Sunday's matchup with fourth-place USC is followed with a trip to league leader Oregon on Feb. 21.

Cal, 15-9 overall and 7-5 in the Pac-12, sits two games out of first place in a four-way tie for fourth place in the league.

• Cal ranks second in the Pac-12 with 15.1 assists per game and third with 7.2 steals per contest during league games. Junior Tyrone Wallace and junior F Richard Solomon. Cal has used this lineup each of the last eight games.

• Cal has produced 70 steals in its last seven games after combining for 77 steals in its first 17 contests. Cobbs leads the way with 14 steals during that span.

Junior Allen Crabbe became the 42nd player in school history to reach the 1,000-point milestone for his Golden Bear career. He hit the four-digit total in the season's third game at Denver on Nov. 16. Crabbe achieved the milestone in his 68th career game, 19 games less than it took Cal's all-time leading scorer Jerome Randle (1,835 from 2006-10) to reach the 1,000-point mark. Crabbe enters Sunday's USC game 12th in career scoring with 1,401 points in 89 games.

With an average of 19.6 points per game, Crabbe has led the Pac-12 Conference in scoring all season and is tied for 16th in the nation overall. His career-high 33 points against Pepperdine equals the second-most points by an individual in the conference this season.

Crabbe is also among the conference leaders in free-throw percentage (6th, .827), three-point field goals made per game (7th, 1.9) and field goal percentage (14th, .479).

Allen Crabbe was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week for the first time in his career on Monday (Feb. 11), following his 31-point, seven-rebound, five-assist game to lead Cal to victory over No. 7 Arizona last Sunday. The junior's total was the most by a Wildcat opponent this season.

Crabbe has 25 career 20-point games, including 12 this season. He has posted four-straight 20-point games twice in his career, both this season and as a freshman. Cal is 8-4 when Crabbe has scored 20 or more points this season. Crabbe's last five 20-point games have come on the road.

Junior guards Justin Cobbs and Allen Crabbe have combined to score 818 of Cal's 1,654 points through 24 games. Crabbe leads the Pac-12 conference with 471 points on the year, while Cobbs is 12th in the league (11th in points per game) with a total of 347 points. Crabbe and Cobbs are the highest scoring pair in the Pac-12, combining for 34.1 points per game. The duo has each recorded 20-point games in the same contest on five occasions. Cal owns a 4-1 record in those games.

Allen Crabbe has already recorded 90 more points this season than he did through the first 24 games of his sophomore campaign. The guard, who is averaging 2.5 more minutes per game this season (36.0) than he did last year (33.5), had 381 points through the first 24 games of 2011-12.

Justin Cobbs has surpassed his scoring total from the season's first 23 games of last season by 43 points in 2012-13. Last year, he recorded 304 points through the Bears' first 24 games. He is averaging 4.4 more minutes a game this season (35.2) as compared to last year (30.8).

Freshman guard Tyrone Wallace has provided an instant impact for the Bears. He earned a starting role in Cal's 10th game (vs. UC Santa Barbara on Dec. 18) of the season and has played at least 30 minutes in six of the Bears' last eight games. The first-year guard posted his first career double-double in his first career start against UCSB with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Wallace is Cal's fifth-leading scorer (7.2 ppg.) and lone freshman to play in all 24 games. He played a career-long 38 minutes at USC and vs. Oregon. The freshman scored a career-best 16 points vs. Washington State and at Arizona State. Wallace has reached double figures in rebounding twice with 10 each against No. 13 Creighton and UCSB, while his career-best eight assists came at Utah.

Since Wallace was inserted into the starting lineup 15 games ago, he has averaged 7.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists.

The freshman posted a career-high four blocks to go along with siz assists, three steals, three rebounds and seven points last time out against UCLA.

After a 2011-12 season where David Kravish earned a spot on the All-Pac-12 Freshman team, the 6-9 forward added 20 pounds to his frame in the off-season. He is the team's leading rebounder (ranks 11th in the Pac-12 with 7.0 rpg.) and shot blocker (6th in the Pac-12 at 1.4 bpg.). The forward has posted seven or more rebounds in a game in 12 contests. Kravish has two double-doubles this season (11 points, 12 rebounds at Denver and a season-high 18 points, 13 rebounds last time out against UCLA). He has posted five double-digit rebounding games this season. In two games against UCLA this season, Kravish has totaled 25 rebounds. The sophomore is tied for sixth all-time at Cal with 75 career blocks.

Junior Richard Solomon, who missed the final 15 games of last season, has played in all 24 games this season. He has started 22 contests. Solomon is Cal's third-leading scorer (8.4 ppg.) and second-leading rebounder (6.5 rpg.). The junior has scored in double figures in nine games, including a career-high 18 points vs. Prairie View A&M. He recorded a career-best 12 rebounds vs. No. 10 Oregon. Solomon has posted a pair of double-doubles this season (11 points and 10 rebounds at UCLA, 13 points and 12 rebounds vs. Oregon). He also registered a career-high six blocks vs. WSU to go along with seven points and eight rebounds, becoming the first player in school history with at least six points, six rebounds and six blocks in a game. Solomon has totaled 36 rebounds in his last five games. With two blocks against UCLA last time out, he moved into eighth on Cal's all-time blocks list with 72 in his career.

Senior forward Robert Thurman has made the most of his minutes on the floor in 2012-13. The forward, who has started two games this season, is averaging 17.5 minutes per contest. The senior made his first career start in his 55th career game vs. Washington on Jan. 9. He is averaging 5.0 ppg. and 3.8 rpg. The forward posted a season-high 14 points in 23 minutes vs. UCSB.

Senior guard Brandon Smith, who missed six games after suffering a head injury vs. PVAM on Dec. 22, made his return to the court seven games ago at Utah. After being sidelined for more than a month, he was cleared to play on Jan. 23. The senior played his longest minutes since Dec. 9 with 23 minutes on the floor vs. Oregon State. He scored six points and dished out a pair of assists vs. the Beavers.

After appearing in just five of the first nine games, junior guard Jeff Powers has played in 12 of the last 14 games. He has scored all 25 of his points on the season and logged 113 of his 126 minutes of the year in his last 12 games. Powers started the Bears' game against Washington State, playing a season-long 19 minutes against the Cougars. The junior was sidelined three games ago after suffering a bone bruise on his knee against Oregon State.

Senior center Bak Bak has also increased his presence in the Bears' line-up. Over his last 10 games, Bak has totaled 63 minutes on the floor. He had played 26 minutes overall in his first five appearances of the season prior to the USC contest on Jan. 5. Bak scored a season-high six points in six minutes in the win at No. 7 Arizona.

Winners of four-straight, USC comes to Berkeley tied with Cal for fourth place in the Pac-12 standings with a 7-5 conference record. The Trojans own a 12-13 overall mark.

USC is 5-3 under interim head coach Bob Cantu after he was elevated to the position when the program removed Kevin O'Neill from the post in January.

USC survived a late rally by Stanford to win, 65-64, in Palo Alto on Thursday for its fourth-straight win. The last time USC won four consecutive games was when it also won four straight Feb. 17-26, 2011.

USC has averaged 70.0 points in Pac-12 games this season, second-best among Pac-12 schools.

Senior forward Eric Wise leads three Trojans averaging double figures in the scoring column at 12.2 ppg. Junior guard J.T. Terrell is averaging 10.7 ppg., while sophomore guard Byron Wesley is contributing 10.1 ppg.

California and USC have met on the hardwood 252 times previously. The Golden Bears lead the all-time series 132-120. Cal has won the last three games in the series after posting a 72-64 victory in Los Angeles in early January. The Bears swept the series from the Trojans last season, winning, 53-49 at home and 75-59 in Los Angeles. The Bears own a 61-40 all-time record at home against USC.