The California Golden Bears had no problem knocking the Oregon Ducks down to 2-2 in conference play in a 77-60 victory, and they are continuing to prove that they are the best team in the Pac-12- and by a good margin. The Ducks played poorly and were helpless defensively, and their abysmal 9-15 shooting from the free throw line- including an air ball- was something else entirely. Allen Crabbe was a one-man wrecking ball, as he dropped 26 points with 12 boards and made every single three for the team. Crabbe’s 6-8 performance from downtown was remarkable, and he had a monstrous game and was the man of the night.
The big theme heading into this game for California was their big three of Crabbe, Justin Cobbs, and Jorge Gutierrez; these guys did not disappoint. All of them played 37 minutes and had just four turnovers compared to 11 assists between them. Gutierrez and Cobbs had 18 and 15 points respectively, and Gutierrez notched two steals to go along with six rebounds and four assists. Cobbs, on the other hand, had six assists and shot just over 50% from the floor.
The Ducks had three players in double digits: Devoe Joseph (14), E.J. Singler (12), and Olu Ashaolu (10). Five players had at least five rebounds, and center Tony Woods added two blocks to his five rebounds. Although Joseph led the team in scoring, he shot just 6-14 from the floor and had as many shots as points. Ashaolu was just as underwhelming and connected on 25% of his shots to go with three turnovers. Singler was easily the most efficient player on Oregon in this game, and he went 2-5 from 3-point land with a 5-9 performance overall. He also had six rebounds in what was yet another solid performance from the forward.
However, one of the Golden Bears forwards, Harper Kamp, was not nearly as effective in this 77-60 affair. Kamp had four points with four turnovers and fouls apiece in 25 minutes. Power forward David Kravish was a force on defense, and he only needed to take two shots in his 30 minutes to make way for the three stars. Kravish had two steals and blocks with six rebounds. Richard Solomon had another top performance off the bench with ten rebounds and three blocks on the defensive side (seven offensive boards). However, he had just six points on 3-9 shooting, but that doesn’t matter much when you bring down that many rebounds in just 17 minutes.
The California Golden Bears definitely dominated their opponent in this game, but this isn’t the most embarrassing defeat in the world for the Ducks. Cali is the top team in the conference and the only team hovering somewhere near the top 25 teams in college basketball. Losing by 17 in a crucial conference matchup is not ideal, but this isn’t the worst outcome possible for a middling Ducks team. They are still in the race in the Pac-12, and you don’t need to be a good team to be one of the top four teams in this weak conference. The Ducks, however, will have to bear down and play better basketball from here on out. Their best chance is to beat up on the bottom-feeders in the conference, as they did during their bloated 9-3 non-conference season.