California was able to make a few plays with less than two minutes to play to beat Oregon State 65-61. Cal came out on fire in the second half and built a double-digit lead, but then the Bears took their foot off the gas and let the Beavers back in the game. Once a team has the momentum they must keep it, because once it's gone it might not return. Cal started taking the shot clock down to ten seconds before attacking the basket with five minutes remaining in the game. The Bear's conservative approach on offense almost cost them the game.
California is in first place in the Pac Ten with a 5-2 record. Next week the Bears face both Arizona schools. When Cal meets ASU on Jan. 28th it could be for 1st place in the conference. Against the Beavers Theo Robertson had 14 points and so did PG Jerome Randle. The most impressive performance for California came from F Jamal Boykin. Boykin finished the game with 12 points and 9 rebounds. Going forward if Cal wants to take control of the Pac Ten Conference they will need consistent rebounding efforts like this one from Boykin.
How the Bears respond next week against ASU and Arizona will give a good indication of what team will win the Pac Ten. ASU is a very good defensive team and the Bears might have a tough time connecting from three-point land against the Sun Devils. The Wildcats are young, but they are more athletic and have more team speed than California. If the Bears can go 2-0 next week they will be sending a loud message to the rest of the conference.