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Cal Basketball

Bears Host Beavers to Open Pac-12 Play

December 1, 2021

The Cal men’s basketball team opens Pac-12 play Thursday night, hosting Oregon State at 7:30 p.m. This is the first of two consecutive conference games for the Bears (3-4), who travel to Salt Lake City to take on Utah Sunday at 2 p.m.

The Bears still will likely be missing some key players Thursday. Coach Mark Fox was not made available to the media this week, but after Sunday’s win over Fresno State, he had said that freshman guard Marsalis Roberson, who has yet to play this season because of an undisclosed ailment, may be cleared to practice within a week. Reserve guard Makale Foreman, who has been playing while dealing with a foot injury, should be improved. Likewise graduate transfer guard Jordan Shepherd, who is playing with a sprained thumb on his right shooting hand.

However, sophomore forward Monty Bowser is probably weeks away from being able to even practice. He has an ankle injury that typically requires three months of recovery.

The 65-57 win over Fresno was the Bears’ third straight at Haas Pavilion. The Bears’ biggest improvement came in the area of defense, specifically avoiding fouls. Cal was called for just 13 personals and Fresno shot just ten free throws, hitting six. 

“Playing defense without our hands. That’s something we need to work on as well — defending without fouling,” Shepherd said after the game.  “I thought we did a good job of that tonight. 

“We learned from Florida, we learned from Seton Hall how we have to play defense (after) reaching in there, trying to get steals. We have to play solid D, keep our hands up, make sure the refs see it. Look at the result of that.”

At the Fort Myers Tip-Off a week ago, Cal was called for 19 fouls in its consolation game against No. 21 Seton Hall. The Pirates shot 30 free throws, made 24 and won by just 62-59. 

Senior forward Andre Kelly leads the Bears in scoring (16.1) and rebounding (9.1) and has three double-doubles. He is the only player ranked among the top five in the Pac-12 in both scoring (fifth) and rebounding (third)

Oregon State (1-6) has lost six straight after opening the season with a win. “We’re hoping the urgency that we’ve been looking for, across the board, will maybe hit home now we’re going into conference play,” Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle told the OSU media. 

Mark J Rebilas - USA TODAY
Wayne Tinkle

In some ways, the Beavers are getting closer. Four of the six losses were by margins of six points or fewer, including back-to-back one-point defeats. On the bright side, the OSU coach says opponents have taken only two more shots than the Beavers, “so it’s not like we’re getting killed on the glass.”

But the Beavers are killing themselves with their field goal shooting. “We’re not shooting the damn ball,” Tinkle said.

They certainly are not Oregon State’s three-point shooting percentage of 28.8 ranks No. 300 nationally. The 5.1 made threes per game, even worse at No. 326. Free throws, a terrible 67.2 percent, is No. 250. The overall shooting percentage of 42.9 is No. 230.


Bears Beat Fresno State in Men's Basketball



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Bears Host Beavers to Open Pac-12 Play

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