Beavers blow lead, fall to Cal

BERKELEY, Calif. — California coach Mike Montgomery had a few choice words for his team during a timeout early in the second half. Montgomery wouldn't reveal what was said, though backup center Robert Thurman gave a pretty good summation.

"He just let us have it," Thurman said. "Just to put it in a nutshell, he told us to get our act together."

The Golden Bears did just that — and gave their coach another milestone victory along the way.

Richard Solomon's dunk with 17.6 seconds remaining capped a big run over the final 8 minutes, and California rallied from 12 points down in the second half to beat Oregon State 71-68 on Thursday night.

Allen Crabbe had 15 points and eight rebounds, while Justin Cobbs added 14 points and matched his season high of seven assists, to help Montgomery to his 100th career victory in five seasons with the Bears and 647th overall.

"I'm not sure what a momentous occasion it is, to be honest with you," Montgomery deadpanned. "It was a win ... but I thought Oregon State played very well in many respects and deserved to win. It's a kind of win you have to hope you get when you don't play your best."

The Bears (12-8, 4-4 Pac-12) set a season high with nine 3-pointers but sputtered on offense most of the night.

They turned it around after Montgomery's pep talk, after Roberto Nelson's three-point play with 15:49 remaining in the second half had given Oregon State a 52-40 lead.

Cal responded with a 7-0 run, and Cobbs later added a 3-pointer to pull the Bears within 59-56.

Crabbe followed with two free throws with 7:11 remaining — Cal's first free-throw attempts of the game — and Cobbs made a 15-foot jumper to put Cal in front. Crabbe and Cobbs combined to score 12 of the Bears final 18 points.

Oregon State pulled ahead twice after that but managed only one basket over the final 3 minutes.

Both teams missed key opportunities late.

After a high-arcing 15-footer by Ahmad Starks pulled Oregon State within 69-68 with 1:20 left, Cobbs came up short on a 3-pointer but Crabbe grabbed the rebound.

Solomon, who finished with 12 points and seven rebounds, followed with his dunk before Thurman blocked Devon Collier's jumper. Oregon State retrieved the ball, but Joe Burton was unable to shoot before the buzzer sounded.

"I'm taking the blame for that last play," Beavers coach Craig Robinson said. "Not getting a shot off ... just inexcusable."

Roberto Nelson scored 25 points while Burton had 14 points and eight assists for Oregon State (11-10, 1-7). The Beavers haven't won at Haas Pavilion since Jan. 22, 2009.

David Kravish added 12 points for Cal, which won for the first time this season when trailing at the half.

Oregon State led 30-18 on Nelson's 14-footer midway through the first half. The Beavers also got a big lift from Burton, their 295-pound center who had six assists and helped shut down Cal's inside game. Burton is on pace to become the first non-guard in school history to lead the team in assists three consecutive years.

Bears guard Jeff Powers limped off the court with 2:09 left in the first half after falling to the floor and clutching his left knee. He returned to Cal's bench in the second half but did not play.

Powers' replacement, Brandon Smith, made a 3-pointer, and Bak Bak's inside basket cut Oregon State's lead to 39-33 before Starks easily raced through Cal's defense and scored on a short shot just before the buzzer to put the Beavers up by eight at the break.

No. 8 Arizona 57, Washington 53

At Seattle, Nick Johnson had 15 points, five in the final 2 minutes, and Arizona rallied from an early deficit for an ugly victory over Washington, snapping a three-game losing streak to the Huskies.

Mark Lyons and Solomon Hill both added 10 points for the Wildcats, who won their second straight after losing at home to UCLA. It's a victory that won't be remembered for the quality of play, but a gritty effort from Sean Miller's club that easily could have found itself in a major hole after a sloppy first half.

Instead, they will head to Washington State on Saturday just one game behind Oregon in the conference standings and having escaped Seattle with a win for the first time since 2007.

Arizona St. 63,Washington St. 59

At Pullman, Wash., Jahii Carson scored 25 points and Arizona State defeated Washington State for its third straight victory.

Evan Gordon had 13 points and Carrick Felix had 11 points — all in the second half — and 11 rebounds for the Sun Devils (17-4, 6-2 Pac-12), who overcame 4-for-11 free-throw shooting and a nine-point Washington State first-half lead.

Royce Woolridge scored 16 points to lead the Cougars (11-10, 2-6). Mike Ladd had 14 points, and Brock Motum matched Felix with 11 points and 11 boards. Dexter Kernich-Drew scored 10 points for Washington State. The Sun Devils are 6-2 in the conference for the first time since 1994, and are off to their best start since 1981, when ASU began 19-2 behind Byron Scott, Fat Lever and Alton Lister.


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