Slumping Bears Welcome Surging Bruins

Currently enduring its longest losing streak of the season, California hopes to get back on track in the second to last regular-season game on the home court in 2010-11. The Golden Bears (13-13, 6-8)
By Cal Athletics on Fri, February 18, 2011

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Feb. 18, 2011

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California (13-13, 6-8) vs. UCLA (19-7, 10-3)
Date: Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011
Time: 7 p.m. PT
Location: Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, Calif.
Radio: KNEW 910 / XM 143 / Sirius 122

Currently enduring its longest losing streak of the season, California hopes to get back on track in the second to last regular-season game on the home court in 2010-11. The Golden Bears (13-13, 6-8) square off with UCLA Sunday, Feb. 20, at 7 p.m. at Haas Pavilion.

Cal came out of the gate sluggish on Thursday against USC, failing to score a point by the first media timeout. After the Trojans took an 11-point lead into the half, the Bears came out in the second half and went on a 16-7 run to make a big dent in the USC lead. Five second-half three-pointers from USC's Maurice Jones proved to be too costly for Cal to come back from. Senior center Markhuri Sanders-Frison and junior forward Harper Kamp each registered double-doubles. Sanders-Frison notched a new career high of 23 points when he nailed two treys in the final minute to keep the Bears alive.

Sanders-Frison remains one of the Pac-10's most efficient shooters at 59.5 percent that ranks second in the conference. He has been the Bears' leading rebounder all season with an average of 7.4 rpg.

Over his past seven games, Jorge Gutierrez has scored 132 points (18.8 ppg), going 51-for-63 from the free throw line in the process. He reached his new career high of 25 points on Feb. 5 against Arizona, prior to his 24-point effort against the Huskies on Feb. 10.

One of Cal's biggest contributors last week was redshirt freshman guard Jeff Powers. Coming off the bench on Feb. 10 at Washington, Powers set a then-season high of 13 points, drilling both of his three-point attempts. Two days later at Washington State, Powers earned his first collegiate start in place of the injured Allen Crabbe (concussion). Powers earned his second start against USC on Thursday and registered 10 points. After scoring just six points in his first four appearances this season, Powers has now tallied 37 points in his last three games.

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 3.8 a game after dishing out a game-high seven assists at Washington State on Feb. 12. He has recorded at least one steal in 11 of the 15 games since he's taken over as the starting point guard, including a season-high of three against Arizona on Feb. 5. Gutierrez and Smith both rank in the top five in the conference in assists per game - Gutierrez 4.2, Smith 3.8.

Thursday's loss to the Trojans marked Cal's ninth conference game this season to be decided by four points or less or in overtime. The Bears are 4-5 in those eight games and 1-1 in the overtime contests. Against the conference leader, Arizona, despite losing both games, the first matchup was not decided until the final play and the second game went into triple overtime.

Probable Starters

POS     NO      NAME                    HT      WT      YR      PPG     RPG
F       22      Harper Kamp             6-8     245     Jr.     15.0    5.8
Posted third career double-double vs. USC (16 points, 10 rebounds)
C       10      Markhuri Sanders-Frison 6-7     265     Sr.     11.1    7.4
Scored career-high 23 points vs. USC
G       2       Jorge Gutierrez         6-3     195     Jr.     13.8    4.2 (APG)
Notched 19 second-half points at Washington State
G       23      Allen Crabbe            6-6     205     Fr.     12.0    5.5
Missed last two games with a concussion
G       12      Brandon Smith           5-11    185     So.     5.6     3.8 (APG)
Secured 24 assists in his last four games


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