GAME NOTES: The California Golden Bears look to take their momentum into the postseason as they host the Stanford Cardinal at Haas Pavilion for a Pac-12 Conference regular-season finale.
Johnny Dawkins's Cardinal were once the hottest team in the league with four wins over a five-game span, but they followed their hot streak with four losses in five games before completing an 84-66 rout of Utah on Sunday. Stanford will be looking for its first season sweep of Cal since 2008 after it collected a 10-point decision in the first bout at home on Jan. 19.
Stanford used the 3-point arc to its advantage versus Utah, connecting on 11- of-26 from 3-point range to open the game up. The Cardinal allowed the Utes to shoot 43.6 percent from the floor, but also managed to hold a 34-29 edge in the rebounding battle and sink 15-of-16 at the free-throw line. Chasson Randle tallied 22 points and six assists while Dwight Powell added 15 points and eight rebounds. Powell is netting a team-high 15.3 ppg and Randall is close behind at 14.1 ppg. Josh Huestis is also a regular contributor of 10.2 points and 9.4 boards per game.
In a series that dates back to the 1913-14 campaign, California owns a 143-115 edge. The Golden Bears have won six of the last 10 meeting.
The Golden Bears have been red-hot in recent weeks and their 62-46 win over Colorado on Saturday marked their seventh consecutive decision. Should they extend their streak to eight straight league wins, it would be the longest winning streak in conference play since the 1960 NCAA runner-up squad posted 11 straight wins in the Athletic Association of Western Universities Conference. Allen Crabbe, who leads the Pac-12 in scoring at 18.4 ppg, was limited to eight points but also tallied seven rebounds, five assists and two blocks in the victory. Tyrone Wallace (16 points, 11 rebounds) and David Kravish (14 points, 11 rebounds) each produced a double-double, while Justin Cobbs finished with 16 points and five assists.
The win lifted Cal to a 20-9 overall record including a third-place standing in the Pac-12 race. A win by Cal over Stanford along with losses by Oregon and UCLA would create a three-way tie for first place. Defense has recently powered the Golden Bears' success, as they have held opponents to exactly 46 points in three of the last four games. The junior guard duo of Crabbe and Cobbs is the second-highest scoring pair in the Pac-12 with a combined average of 33.2 points per game. The tandem is responsible for 49.3 percent of the team's points on the season.
California is firing on all cylinders as it enters its regular-season finale. Crabbe has been the key to the unit's success. The Golden Bears have become a team no one will want to face in the postseason, while Stanford seems to have digressed of late.
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