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Cal Basketball: Allen Crabbe, Bak Bak, Zone Defense Flusters Nikola Vucevic & Trojans

The California Golden Bears and USC Trojans exchanged runs in the Galen Center. Cal started the game with an 8-2 lead. USC responded with a 14-0 run to make it 16-8 Trojans. But then Cal responded with a 22-6 run to end the first half to take a surprising 30-22 halftime lead.

The 2-3 zone defense the Golden Bears have been running has totally flustered the Trojans. Other than Alex Stepheson shooting three for five and getting six points, the remaining USC players have been totally shut down, shooting 5 for 23 and turning the ball over seven times, leading to six Cal points. Nikola Vucevic has missed all five of his shots from the field and has three fouls to deal with in the second half. Donte Smith, Jio Fontan, and Marcus Simmons also committed two fouls each.

Allen Crabbe leads the way with eight points on 3 of 6 shooting and Cal's only two three pointers. Bak Bak has been surprising off the bench, scoring six points and using his length to fluster outside shooters.  Additionally, the Bears have managed to take care of the ball (three turnovers to USC's seven).  Using a three big lineup featuring Bak, Harper Kamp and Markhuri Sanders-Frison was key to fueling the closing run for Cal in the second half.

To follow the game with Cal fans, go to the California Golden Blogs gamethread!