The Cal Bears played host to Washington State Thursday night as they returned home from their Arizona swing. This was Cal’s first conference home game of the season, and they rewarded the home crowd with a thrilling overtime win.
Freshman Allen Crabbe is continuing his sensational play, as he recorded a career high 30 points on 10 for 15 shooting. The departure of Gary Franklin, who left the team and is transferring to Baylor, has actually proved to be a blessing for the Bears. He has been on fire of late, recording two consecutive 17-point games against Arizona and Arizona State, before breaking out against Washington State Thursday night.
Harper Kamp added 18 points and Markhuri Sanders-Frison finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds, to record his fifth double-double on the year. The Bears also received good play from Brandon Smith who had 9 points and 9 assists. Smith had the not-so-easy job of guarding the conference’s leading scorer, Klay Thompson. Thompson ended with 36 points on 12 for 22 shooting, and 5-10 from 3-point range.
Cal went into halftime with a 42-32 lead over Washington State, but after 5 minutes into the second half, Washington State pulled to within one point. The Bears were able to push the lead back up to ten points a few minutes later, with the help of some good defense and forcing turnovers. But the Cougars would not go away as they were able to hang around for the remainder of the game, and with 15 seconds left, Klay Thompson buried a 3-pointer to tie the game at 74-74. Cal was able to jump out to a six-point lead in overtime and never looked back.
Cal improved their overall record to 9-7 and 2-2 in Pac-10 play, while Washington State dropped to 12-5 overall and 2-3 in the Pac-10. Washington State has now dropped three straight in conference play.
Up next for Cal is the 17th ranked Washington Huskies, who lost to Stanford Thursday night. Washington sits atop the conference standings with a record of 4-1 so this is sure to be their toughest opponent so far this year.
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Written by Mike Cid