Cal holds off Stanford 77-71 in quarterfinals

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Cal holds off Stanford 77-71 in quarterfinals

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LOS ANGELES -- Jorge Gutierrez scored 19 of his 22 points in the second half, Harper Kamp added 17 points, and California avenged last weekend's loss to Stanford with a 77-71 victory over their Bay Area archrivals in the Pac-12 tournament quarterfinals on Thursday night.Justin Cobbs scored 15 points while playing strong defense on Stanford freshman sensation Chasson Randle for the second-seeded Golden Bears (24-8) in the schools' second meeting in five days. Stanford beat Cal 75-70 at Maples Pavilion, preventing the Bears from winning a share of the Pac-12 regular-season title.Thanks to that loss, Cal must win the tournament to breathe easily about its NCAA fate - and the Bears are the highest seed remaining at Staples Center after top-seeded Washington's stunning loss to ninth-seeded Oregon State six hours earlier.Andrew Zimmermann had a career-high 22 points and seven rebounds for the seventh-seeded Cardinal (21-11), who couldn't respond to Cal's second-half rally in the rivals' rubber match after each school won on its home floor during the regular season.Gutierrez, the Pac-12's player of the year and its top defensive player, led Cal's impressive comeback from a seven-point halftime deficit. The senior made 6 of 8 shots and finished seven assists and six rebounds for the Bears, who made a 15-3 run to open the second half.
REWIND: Stanford wins 75-70, denies Cal share of title
Randle scored 19 points for the Cardinal, but went 5 for 16 - just 2 of 9 on 3-pointers. The freshman dropped 27 of his 30 points on Arizona State in the first half of the Cardinal's opening-round victory.Cal didn't appear to try anything fancy against Randle, who scored 17 points against the Bears at Maples Pavilion last weekend. Cobbs' man-to-man coverage largely limited Randle's looks and harassed him into ineffectiveness.Stanford took a 30-23 lead into halftime despite just five points from Randle. Cal, which committed 14 turnovers before halftime and just three afterward, went up 38-33 on Allen Crabbe's 3-pointer 4 minutes into the second half.Cal maintained a narrow lead until Zimmermann's putback layup tied it at 60 with 6:06 to play. The Bears answered moments later with an 8-0 run capped by Cobbs' four straight free throws.Cal led 73-64 on Gutierrez's three-point play with 2:31 left, but Randle finally awoke with five quick points. David Kravish drew a key foul and hit two free throws with 40.7 seconds left, and the Bears hung on after stumbling into the league tournament following its first consecutive losses of the season.Cal had won five of its previous six meetings with Stanford before the Cardinal's surprising victory last weekend. Gutierrez even said he didn't believe the matchup was a true rivalry, given the Bears' domination since Mike Montgomery, the longtime Stanford coach, moved across the bay to Berkeley.The teams' mutual dislike surfaced repeatedly in the final minutes, with several players posturing and treading on the edge of technical fouls.

Hermanson scores 17, No. 22 Saint Mary's beats BYU 70-57

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Hermanson scores 17, No. 22 Saint Mary's beats BYU 70-57

PROVO, Utah — Saint Mary's knows all about the raucous atmosphere at BYU. The Gaels hadn't won in Provo since 2013 and had only come out on top in three of their previous 12 trips.

Make it four out of 13.

Calvin Hermanson scored 17 points and No. 22 Saint Mary's cruised to a 70-57 victory over BYU on Saturday night, snapping a three-game road losing streak to its West Coast Conference rival.

"It's definitely one of the tougher places to play for us," Hermanson said. "Coming in here we know it's a huge crowd and we know they can get riled up on any 3-point shot or any run they make. We wanted to try to limit their runs and their big plays.

"The second half was pretty unbelievable how quiet the crowd was. It felt great for us."

With two games remaining on the regular-season schedule, the Gaels (24-3, 14-2) clinched a second-place finish in the conference standings behind top-ranked and undefeated Gonzaga.

Saint Mary's controlled the game most of the night, riding its staunch defense on one end and running efficient offense on the other. The Gaels were able to get to the rim consistently, but also knocked down 10 3-pointers.

BYU (19-10, 10-6) shot 39.7 percent from the field and connected on four 3s.

Evan Fitzner had 15 points for Saint Mary's, including 11 in the second half.

"We didn't turn the ball over and we shot the ball well," Gaels coach Randy Bennett said, "and were able to get some separation and then it made it tough on them. We kind of just wore them out after that.

"We're a little different team with Fitzner out there. He spaces the floor," Bennett added. "We just play a little different with Fitzner out there versus Jock (Landale). It's nice to have a Plan A and Plan B."

Saint Mary's took a 41-30 lead into halftime thanks to Hermanson's hot shooting and plenty of that trademark defense. The Gaels began the day ranked second in the nation in scoring defense, then held the Cougars to 37.9 percent shooting from the field in the first 20 minutes.

Saint Mary's shot 57.1 percent at the other end, including a 3-for-4 effort from Hermanson from behind the arc.

"I feel like we're better than we showed tonight," BYU guard TJ Haws said. "That team made a lot of runs on us. Tough defensive and offensive team. Very poised and disciplined.

"I want our team to just fight. When they punch us in the face, I want us to punch them right back."

BYU kept Landale under control in the half — and in foul trouble throughout — but Saint Mary's scored 22 of its 41 first-half points in the paint.

Eric Mika had 18 points for BYU, and Yoeli Childs added 13.

"The key to the game was that they were comfortable the entire time in our gym," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "That's on us. We need to be ahead. We need to get them to speed up a little bit because they're a little bit uncomfortable.

"But the game went pretty much exactly how they wanted it to go and we couldn't flip it. We couldn't get on top."

BIG PICTURE

Saint Mary's: The Gaels will be the No. 2 seed in the WCC tournament. No. 1 Gonzaga secured the regular-season title Saturday with a win over Pacific. An early December defeat to UT-Arlington is the Gaels' only bad loss this season, with the other two coming against Gonzaga.

BYU: The Cougars likely needed a win against the No. 22 team in the country to make an argument for the NCAA Tournament off their regular-season credentials. BYU has lost all three games against ranked opponents by double digits, including to Saint Mary's twice, and doesn't have a signature win. The Cougars get one last chance against Gonzaga next Saturday.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

No. 22 Saint Mary's might find itself moving up a bit after No. 17 Florida State and No. 21 South Carolina lost on Saturday.

UP NEXT

Saint Mary's: Travel to face Pepperdine on Thursday.

BYU: Play at Portland on Thursday.

Pickens, Travis rally Stanford past rival Cal for upset win

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Pickens, Travis rally Stanford past rival Cal for upset win

BOX SCORE

STANFORD -- Dorian Pickens scored 23 points, Reid Travis had 19 with nine rebounds and Stanford held on to beat California 73-68 on Friday night.

Marcus Allen added 11 points for the Cardinal, who overcame an early 12-point deficit to beat their cross-bay rivals for the 21st time in the last 24 meetings between the two teams at Maples Pavilion.

Stanford (13-13, 5-9 Pac-12) won for only the second time in seven games and split the season series with California.

Pickens had nine points, including a pair of 3-pointers, as part of a 20-5 run in the second half when the Cardinal pulled away.

After California closed within 62-56 on Grant Mullins' 3-pointer with 4:54 remaining, Allen made two free throws and Pickens scored on a jumper from the free-throw line as he was falling backward onto the court.

Jabari Bird scored 23 points and set a career-high with seven 3s for the Golden Bears (18-8, 9-5). Ivan Rabb added 16 points and 13 rebounds after being slowed by foul trouble in the first half.