A comfortable win over the last place team in the league on Friday night at Haas Pavilion was not enough to eliminate the lingering bad taste from Wednesday's painful last-second loss to Oregon. California (19-9, 10-6) routed the Oregon State Beavers (5-25, 1-16) 76-46 in front of a crowd of 9,500 that came out to celebrate the five Bears playing their final home game.
Jabari Bird, Sam Singer, Grant Mullins, Stephen Domingo and Roger Moute a Bidias were saluted in the pregame ceremony. Maybe it was the occasion, but Bird struggled with his shooting (3 for 13, 0 for 7 from three), and it was not Mullins' best game. Domingo and Moute a Bidias got into the game late in the second half and played briefly.
Sam Singer appeared to enjoy himself. Cal's guard was a perfect seven for seven from the field in 14 minutes and finished with 14 points. When he left the game in the final minute, Singer jogged to center court and bent down to touch the floor.
"It was very emotional," said Singer after the game. "You know, I had to fight back tears honestly walking off for the last time. It's just been an unbelievable four years."
Sophomore Ivan Rabb, probably also playing his final home game, was Cal's best performer. He scored 16 points, while pulling down 9 rebounds. Charlie Moore had 11 points and dished out five assists.
"It felt good," said Rabb. "They (Oregon) took the game from us so this game we wanted to take it out on somebody else. This was the first game in a long time, once we got going, we played the entire game. We played defense the entire game."
"I thought it was a good bounce-back game for our guys," said Cuonzo Martin. "To lose a tough one on Wednesday, and to come back the way we played, the way we competed. I told our guys I thought this was the first game that we finished the game, had a lead and played well and finished the game."
Cal got off to a slow start. The Beavers led by 7 early (14-7). The Bears finally took their first lead, 15-14 on a slam-dunk by Bird off an Oregon State turnover. It was 17-15 in favor of the visitors when Cal took off on a 12-0 run to take control. OSU was scoreless for more than five minutes.
The run eventually grew to 18-2. It was 39-26 Cal at the intermission, with Rabb dominating the inside. The sophomore had 14 in the opening twenty minutes.
After going 0 for 7 from distance in the first half, Moore nailed the Bears' first second half attempt. That seemed to get the freshman point guard going, as he scored on a floater then fed Bird for a soaring slam.
A Moore jumper made it 55-35 and forced Beaver coach Wayne Tinkle to call a timeout with 12:58 remaining in the game. The lead grew from there, reaching 34, as Cal's Martin was able to empty the bench.
Oregon State is not a good offensive team, and the combination of their difficulties and Cal's defense produced some ugly numbers. The Beavers shot 37% on the night, and just 28% after the break. They were 4 for 14 from outside the arc, and turned it over 15 times.
Cal outscored the Beavers 46-14 in the paint, and 24-4 on points off turnovers. Cal had 13 second chance points, to none for the visitors. The Bears shot 47.5% from the field, just 2-13 on threes.
The Bears will head off to a mountain road trip vs. Utah and Colorado, with a one game lead over Utah for fourth place and a first round bye in the Pac-12 Tournament. They face Utah Thursday night at 8 p.m. in Salt Lake City.
- Roman Davis moved up in the rotation and came on for Rabb in the first half. Martin said, "His last two weeks have been very impressive. He's worked extremely hard."
- Singer said that he texted with former coach Mike Montgomery during the day. "I just thanked him for taking a chance on me when I was a kid from Miami."