Feb. 20, 2011
CAL PAGE BOX SCORE
It certainly wasntsupposed to be like this, a 76-72 Cal win over the UCLA Bruins. Cal came intoSundays game the lowly No. 8 in the Pac-10. UCLA was surging at No. 2, cruisinginto Haas Pavilion on a six-game winning streak. The Bears had lost their lastfour games. They were ready to lose this one, too. No one told that toBears junior guard Jorge Gutierrez, who absolutely owned the overtime. Gutierrez absolutely killed us down thestretch, Bruins coach Ben Howland said. He just kept attacking our bigs. Hewas just driving, driving, driving. On the missed shot by Zeke (Lazeric Jones)he went coast to coast. In the overtime Gutierrezblew by Bruin defenders to create opportunities for his team and problems andchaos for his opponent. Even when he missed, his teammates got the rebound andlaid it in. Gutierrez scored theGolden Bears first six points in OT and nine of their 16 in the extra period.He also got a steal, and made a perfect assist to a wide-open Brandon Smith inthe right corner for a game-clinching three. He finished the game with acareer-high 34 points with six assists for the Bears, who are now 14-13. Thats the best gameIve ever seen Jorge play, Smith said. He was so aggressive. He took us onhis back. Gutierrez came intothe game scoring 18.8 points in the last seven games, including a 25-pointeffort on Feb. 5 against Arizona and a 24-point game against the University ofWashington on Feb. 10. It was fitting theway the game ended. UCLA fouled Gutierrez with 0.7 seconds left in overtime andthe Bears up by two. Gutierrez sank the free throws and that was that, Gutierrezputting the finishing touch on things while the home crowd went wild. Cals coach Mike Montgomerywas coy with his praise of Gutierrez, calling his game fair as he toyed withreporters. When asked ifGutierrezs performance was more important because Cal had lost its previousfour games, Montgomery responded with mock annoyance: No, it would have beenjust as important as if we had won the last 19. We had UCLA at home. It had nomore significance because we lost the last four. If we hadnt won this we wouldhave tried to go out and win the next one. It certainly puts a dent in UCLAfrom trying to compete for the (Pac-10 championship). Gutierrez did notspeak to the media, unusual for the star of the game. He doesnt like tospeak to people less intelligent, Montgomery explained. Does he speak toyou? a writer asked. No, Montgomeryreplied. Jorge Gutierrez couldtake a vow a silence for the rest of his life if he can play like this for theBears going forward.