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Cal vs. Washington State: Beats, Cougars Battle To Break Pac-10 Tie

The California Golden Bears look to break out of the 6-6 log-jam in the Pac-10 as they travel to Pullman, Washington to face the Washington State Cougars. Cal is tied with WSU and Stanford in fourth place at 6-6 in conference play. Stanford travels to Washington in a game that would potentially tighten up the third place race in the Pac-10. Head over to California Golden Blogs to check out norcalnick’s scouting report on the Cougars.

GAME NOTES: The California Golden Bears have made their way to Pullman for a Pac-10 Conference clash with the Washington State Cougars. On Thursday, Cal was embarrassed by Washington, falling to the Huskies in a 109-77 final. The Golden Bears have now allowed more than 100 points in two consecutive outings and they are 13-11 overall, a mediocre 6-6 in league action, and a game below .500 in true road games (3-4).

Losses in three of the last five outings have seemingly dropped Washington State out of the race for the Pac-10 title, as the club is now 6-6 in conference, overshadowing a much more impressive 16-8 overall record. Like the Golden Bears, the Cougars were in action on Thursday, as they fell to Stanford in front of a deflated home crown, 75-62.

Cal beat Washington State in overtime back on January 13th, 88-81, and the Golden Bears own a 72-45 advantage in the all-time series.

The most obvious reason that California was blown out by Washington two days ago was poor defense, as the Golden Bears permitted the Huskies to shoot 56.6 percent from the field, including a 17-of-31 effort from three-point range. Cal actually earned a 19-6 edge in points from the foul line in the contest, but the squad committed 16 turnovers was outrebounded as well. Jorge Gutierrez led the way in the setback with 24 points, while Mark Sanders-Frison and Jeff Powers chipped in 13 points apiece. Kamp shoots 53.4 percent from the field and is averaging 14.8 ppg and 5.5 rpg. Gutierrez checks in with 13.6 ppg and a team-high 106 assists, and he is tops with 36 steals as well. Allen Crabbe (12.0 ppg) and Sanders-Frison (10.9 ppg, 7.3 rpg) add balance to the lineup for the Golden Bears, who are both scoring and surrendering the exact same average (71.8 ppg).

Washington State’s Klay Thompson is capable of taking over any game at the offensive end of the court. The standout is generating 20.9 ppg on the strength of his 41.3 percent shooting from three-point range, and the fact Thompson also contributes 5.2 rpg, 4.3 apg, 47 steals and 26 blocks speaks to his tremendous versatility. Faisal Aden (13.1 ppg) and DeAngelo Caston (11.1 ppg) add balance to the lineup for the Cougars, who are netting 73.2 ppg while surrendering 65.2 ppg. The fact that WSU is limiting foes to 38.6 percent field goal efficiency is impressive by any standards. Casto was sensational against Stanford two days ago, as he knocked down 10-of-11 shots from the floor and finished with 22 points. Unfortunately, the rest of the team combined for just 12 field goals. Thompson netted 12 points in defeat.

In a game that figures to be close from start to finish, give a narrow edge to Thompson’s squad. The Cougars will make just enough plays at both ends of the court to edge the Golden Bears.

GAME NOTES: The California Golden Bears have made their way to Pullman for a Pac-10 Conference clash with the Washington State Cougars.

FACTS & STATS: Site: Beasley Coliseum (11,671) — Pullman, Washington. Television: None. Home Record: Cal 9-5, WSU 9-3. Away Record: Cal 3-4, WSU 4-4. Neutral Record: Cal 1-2, WSU 3-1. Conference Record: Cal 6-6, WSU 6-6. Series Record: California leads, 72-45.

Saturday, February 12th, 6:00 p.m. (et)

Washington State 70, California 66