NCAA

Cal's offense hits season low in 30-point loss to Utah

cal-us.jpg
USATSI

Cal's offense hits season low in 30-point loss to Utah

BOX SCORE

SALT LAKE CITY -- Sedrick Barefield scored 14 and Utah defeated California 74-44 in Pac-12 action on Thursday night.

The Utes stayed alive in their pursuit of a first-round bye in the conference tournament. The top four teams in the standings earn a bye and Utah (19-10, 10-7) and Cal (19-10, 10-7) are now tied in the fourth slot.

The 30 points win over Cal is the largest Utah has in the series dating back to 1940.

Utah blew the doors open with a 32-10 run after the teams were tied at six apiece and took a 42-22 lead into halftime. The Cal defense struggled to stay in front of anyone and the Utes' first 14 points all came from inside the paint. Utah then dropped back-to-back 3-pointers from Barefield and Lorenzo Bonam to jumpstart the rout.

David Collette and Kyle Kuzma scored 12 apiece and Bonam finished with 11.

The Utes shot 51.6 percent from the field in the first half and scored more points in the paint (24) than Cal totaled in the first 20 minutes. The Golden Bears shot a miserable 30.0 percent from the field in the first half and never found any flow offensively.

Cal's Jabari Bird and Ivan Rabb came into the game averaging a combined 29.3 points per game as the Bears' top two scorers, but were a combined 1 for 5 from the field in the half. They finished with 14 combined points.

The Utes cruised to victory in the second half.

Grant Mullins led the Golden Bears with 11 points.

BIG PICTURE

California: The Golden Bears had the opportunity to lock up the No. 4 seed in the Pac-12 tournament and the first-round bye. They still own the tiebreaker against Utah, but now Saturday's road game against Colorado becomes a must win.

Utah: The Utes are in a wonderful spot considering they went 3-4 in February and are without starter Devon Daniels, who was suspended indefinitely a week ago. Utah has been inconsistent all year, but finds itself one win from its fourth consecutive 20-win season and still in contention for that first-round bye.

SEASON LOWS

Cal was held to season lows in field goal percentage (23.1), 3-point percentage (11.1) and assists (three).

UP NEXT

California: The Golden Bears travel to face Colorado in their regular-season finale Saturday.

Utah: The Utes host Stanford in their regular-season finale Saturday.

Pac-12 basketball teams near Barcelona terrorist attack safe

barcelona-ap.jpg
AP

Pac-12 basketball teams near Barcelona terrorist attack safe

Men's basketball teams from Oregon State, Clemson and Arizona were staying at a hotel in Barcelona, Spain, near where a van drove into pedestrians on Thursday, but team officials said everyone was safe.

Spanish police have confirmed they are investigating the bloodshed in Barcelona's historic Las Ramblas district as a terror attack. The area is a popular summer tourist spot.

Tulane also was playing in Barcelona, but it was unclear if they were staying in the same hotel as the other teams.

Oregon State assistant coach Gregg Gottlieb posted to Facebook: "We are all luckily ok. Our hotel/restaurant is located right on Las Ramblas. This tragedy happened right in front of us as our team just sat down for pregame meal. Thoughts and prayers for all those that are were hurt."

The Beavers' game Thursday night was canceled. It was supposed to be the first of a five-game tour.

Clemson was scheduled to play Thursday night against a Spanish All-Star team.

"We've been in contact with our men's basketball program currently in Barcelona and the entire travel party is safe and secure. Their exhibition game for tonight has been cancelled and the team will return to Clemson as previously scheduled tomorrow morning. Our thoughts are with the people of Barcelona," the South Carolina school said in a statement.

Clemson coach Brad Brownell confirmed in a text to The Associated Press that the three teams were staying in the same hotel.

"We are fine. Thankful to be safe and together," Brownell wrote.

Tulane athletic director Troy Tannen confirmed via social media that the Green Wave players and staff were safe.

Replying to a Twitter inquiry from a Portland television about whether the team was OK, Oregon State head coach Wayne Tinkle responded: "Yes we are, happened directly in front of our hotel while we were having a team meal in the restaurant, so senseless and sad! All accounted4."

Oregon State said it has not yet determined the remaining schedule for the team, which was supposed to be on the exhibition tour until Aug. 25.

A spokesman for Arizona said the Wildcats have canceled their third and final exhibition of their tour and "are currently working on travel plans to return home."

The future of Cal athletics, or lack thereof

cal-us.jpg
USATSI

The future of Cal athletics, or lack thereof

Your education dollars are always at work, so it is with pride and bewilderment that we report that the University of California’s incoming class (2021, for those few who can get out in four years) marched to Memorial Stadium and formed the world’s largest human letter.
 
It was . . . wait for it . . . a “C.” A 7,196-person-strong “C.”
 
But the school, as it occasionally does, missed a golden opportunity to seize a golden opportunity. All they needed to do was have a quick whip-round, get $55,586.44 from each and every one of the captives . . . er, students, and they could have wiped out their entire athletics deficit in one night.
 
You see, while forming gigantic letters is always fun (or as the kids used to say when double negatives didn’t mean voting, never not fun), Cal is staring at quite possibly the bleakest future a major athletic university ever has. The athletic department, whose chief officer, Mike Williams, has just announced his intention to quit, is over $400 million in debt between construction costs, ambition, shrinking allegiance and the absence of a Phil Knight-level sugar daddy to buy the pain away.
 
And before you blame Williams, he inherited this indigestible planetoid from his predecessor, Sandy Barbour, who grew it from her predecessor, Steve Gladstone, and hastened it from . . . well, you get the drift. 
 
Cal’s been blowing through money it hasn’t been taking in for years upon years, didn’t realize the deficit-cutting benefits of the Pac-12 Network (because they largely don’t exist), and the day of reckoning looms closer and closer, especially now that new chancellor Carol Christ (no apparent relation) described the deficit as “corrosive” and has insisted that the athletic department have a balanced budget by 2020.
 
In short, the school may only be able to afford a lower-case “C” before too long. Maybe in comic sans.