Jan. 28, 2011
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) - Oregon State's zone defense has caused California fits in recent seasons. The Golden Bears mastered it at last, with a combination of snappy passing and timely drives to the basket.
Harper Kamp scored 18 points for his ninth straight game in double figures, Jorge Gutierrez had 16 points and a career-high 11 assists and Cal beat the Beavers 85-57 on Thursday night.
Markhuri Sanders-Frison had 15 points and nine rebounds and freshman Allen Crabbe added 12 points and seven rebounds for Cal (11-9, 4-4 Pac-10), which kicked off a four-game homestand at Haas Pavilion by sending the Beavers to their fifth loss in six games.
Oregon State leading scorer Jared Cunningham had 15 points after combining for only 14 in his previous two games and Devon Collier added 14 for the cold-shooting Beavers (8-11, 3-5). Lathen Wallace added 12 points, but Oregon State never got in sync against the defending Pac-10 champions and was forced to try to play catch-up all night after falling behind in a hurry _ a problem for the team of late.
"They were forced to go man. We were scoring pretty easily against the two zones they had," Cal coach Mike Montgomery said.
Cal made 12 of 17 field goals in the opening 15 minutes of the game and shot 53.8 percent in the first half to build a 36-26 lead at the break. The Golden Bears only built on that in the second half and the Beavers matched their lowest total of the season also done in a five-point loss to UCLA on Jan. 13 and back on Dec. 4 at Colorado. Oregon State came in averaging 72.5 points per game.
Top rebounder Omari Johnson, a 6-foot-9 senior who didn't grab a single board in a 63-59 loss to rival Oregon at home in Corvallis last Saturday, managed only one in this game as the Beavers were outrebounded 42-36. They shot 32.2 percent overall, 3 for 18 from 3-point range, and committed 17 turnovers.
Calvin Haynes added 10 points and six rebounds for Oregon State.
"I'll tell you exactly what I told the guys: ... This was the first time that I saw us play, in the three years I've been here, that it looked like we just gave up," Beavers coach Craig Robinson said. "Before I can blame them, I have to blame myself for that, so I'm going to take the blame for this game. My team should never come out and lay an egg the way we did."
Cal produced a solid, balanced performance after last week's split in Southern California with UCLA and USC _ a pair of two-point outcomes, including a 68-66 win over the Trojans last Saturday. The Bears converted 18 of 27 free throws Thursday and shot 50.8 percent to beat the Beavers for only the second time in the last five meetings.
"I'm just happy I found a way to find open people on my team. It's always hard to play against Oregon State," Gutierrez said. "We're pretty confident right now. We have intense practices. When it comes to game days, we have the mindset to win and do everything it takes to win."
Oregon State, which has been struggling with slow starts and putting together a full 40 minutes of effective basketball, began the game 4 for 12 and missed its first three 3-point tries before Lathen Wallace connected at 10:42. The Beavers had a hard time creating open looks on offense against Cal's smothering defense, a change considering Oregon State's zone has caused Cal fits in recent seasons.
After Cunningham's first basket at the 14:12 mark of the opening half, Cal responded with an 8-0 run to go ahead 17-8. Oregon State never recovered.
"When we get good energy and get up on people we want to maintain that and be consistent with that," Kamp said. "Good teams are going to make a run if you let them."