California (17-9) at Oregon State (13-14)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 23, 6 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Gill Coliseum (9,604) -- Corvallis, Oregon. Television: Pac-12 Network. Home Record: California 9-4, Oregon State 9-7. Away Record: California 5-5, Oregon State 2-6. Neutral Record: California 3-0, Oregon State 2-1. Conference Record: California 9-5, Oregon State 3-11. Series Record: California leads, 79-61.
GAMES NOTES: Riding high after a thrilling victory on Thursday night, the California Golden Bears will invade Gill Coliseum for a Pac-12 Conference matchup with the Oregon State Beavers.
A jump shot from Justin Cobbs with less than a second left on the clock pushed California to a hard fought 48-46 victory over No. 23 Oregon on Thursday. The win was the fourth straight for the Golden Bears who are all of a sudden in the mix in the Pac-12 as they have risen to a tie with Arizona State for fourth in the league standings (9-5). California has also helped its NCAA Tournament resume with an overall record of 17-9. The Golden Bears finish the season with a three-game homestand beginning against Utah.
Oregon State has been headed in the opposite direction of late and really all season. The Beavers have dropped three of their last four contests and are currently tied with Utah for second to last place in the Pac-12 (3-11). Oregon State is also below .500 overall (13-14) on the campaign, while sporting just a 9-7 mark at Gill Coliseum. The Beavers play their final three games on the road starting with an intrastate battle with Oregon.
California survived in a 71-68 decision against Oregon State earlier this year for its fourth win in the last five meetings between these programs. California also leads the all-time series, 79-61.
In its thrilling win over Oregon, California held the Ducks to just 27.6 percent shooting but still found itself knotted at 46-46 in the final seconds. Cobbs' clutch jumper gave him a game-high 14 points to go with seven assists, though he also had eight turnovers.
Cobbs (14.7 ppg, 4.6 apg) and Allen Crabbe (19.5 ppg, 5.7 rpg) have powered the Golden Bears as one of the best scoring backcourt duos in the Pac-12. Crabbe has been especially potent as an offensive weapon, scoring in double figures in all but one league contest, while leading the Pac-12 in scoring. Cobbs normally defers to Crabbe and ranks fourth in the league in assists. Richard Solomon (8.6 ppg, 6.7 rpg) and David Kravish (8.1 ppg, 7.0 rpg) are the anchors down low as well as the only other players putting in more than seven points per game. As a team California is scoring a mediocre 68 points per game, while shooting just under 45 percent from the floor.
On its home floor, Oregon State was taken down by Stanford, 82-72, despite a 28-point outburst from Roberto Nelson. The Beavers were outscored 18-6 from beyond the arc in the contest. Nelson was a major reason for the shooting woes as he connected on just 1-of-9 from 3-point range.
Nelson (17.6 ppg) has certainly not been afraid to put the ball in the air as he has attempted at least 10 shots in 12 straight games, while scoring in double figures in each of those contests. The 6-foot-3 guard shoots 40.7 percent from beyond the arc and is fifth in league in scoring. Ahmad Starks (11.3 ppg) is another gunner from 3-point range, while Devon Collier (12.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg) still averages in double figures despite an extended dry spell. In the frontcourt Joe Burton (11.6 ppg, 6.4 rpg) is the top scoring option, although double-double machine Eric Moreland (9.3 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 2.4 bpg) contributes on the scoreboard, the glass and in protecting the rim.
Momentum is not something to be ignored and right now no team in the Pac-12 has as much as California. Expect Crabbe and Cobbs to carry the Golden Bears to yet another victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: California 71, Oregon State 65
02/23 10:45:12 ET