NCAA

Cobbs' 22 points propel Cal past Denver 80-59

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Cobbs' 22 points propel Cal past Denver 80-59

BOX SCORE
BERKELEY (AP) -- Allen Crabbe scored 15 points and matched his career high with 10 rebounds and No. 20 California defeated Denver 80-59 on Saturday to stay unbeaten at home in Haas Pavilion.Crabbe, last season's Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, shot 6 for 9 with three 3-pointers and helped the Golden Bears (5-1) overcome a slow start against the Pioneers (4-1). Cal bounced back from a 92-53 defeat to No. 21 Missouri in the CBE Classic championship game Tuesday night in Kansas City, Mo.Chris Udofia scored nine points to lead Denver, which was outmuscled inside in losing the rebounding battle 33-20 and outshot from the perimeter. The Pioneers struggled offensively on the heels of an impressive win over Bay Area team Saint Mary's on Wednesday night in Colorado.Justin Cobbs added a career-best 22 points on 7-for-9 shooting and made all four of his 3-point tries for the Bears. Harper Kamp had 11 points, five rebounds and five assists for Cal, which improved to 5-0 on its home floor and 24-3 in nonconference games at Haas during fourth-year coach Mike Montgomery's tenure. The Bears are in a stretch with six of seven games in Berkeley.Denver, off to the program's best start since winning seven straight to begin the 1996-97 season, never round a rhythm while facing a ranked opponent for the first time since losing to No. 10 Gonzaga on Nov. 24, 2003. The Pioneers haven't beaten a ranked team since a 96-74 victory over Utah State on Feb. 15, 1971.Denver has nine returning players and four starters back from a team that placed third in the Sun Belt Conference last season. Leading scorer Brian Stafford, who came in averaging 17.0 points per game, was held to six points on 3-for-5 shooting, while second-leading scorer Udofia - with a 15.3 average - was 3 of 11 and 1 for 6 on 3s to go with six assists.Cal star Jorge Gutierrez picked up two first-half fouls and played only six minutes before returning after halftime. Cobbs filled in nicely, knocking down two 3-pointers during an 11-3 spurt.Gutierrez finished with 11 points and made all eight of his free-throw tries as the Bears more than doubled the Pioneers in trips to the line. Cal shot 64.3 percent from 3-point range, going 9 for 14 - an area Montgomery has said needs improvement. The Bears had made only 25 total before Saturday.Cal missed its first six field-goal tries and began 3 for 10, but Denver also missed its initial six attempts before Brian Stafford's layin at the 14-minute mark. Both teams were sloppy early, though Cal crashed the offensive glass to create second and third opportunities. The Bears wound up with only 13 turnovers, an improvement after committing a season-high 21 in the loss to Missouri. They had 78 through their first five games.Cal has won all three meetings between the schools, who hadn't played since the 1967-68 season.

Cal fights USC into fourth quarter, can't complete the upset

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AP

Cal fights USC into fourth quarter, can't complete the upset

BOX SCORE

BERKELEY -- Stephen Carr ran for a fourth-quarter touchdown two plays after Southern California's defense forced one of its six turnovers and the fifth-ranked Trojans won their 13th straight game, 30-20 over California on Saturday.

USC (4-0, 2-0 Pac-12) has dominated the series with its in-state rival by winning 14 straight against the Golden Bears (3-1, 0-1), but this was one of the tightest matchups in years as the game was tied early in the fourth quarter.

Sam Darnold threw for 223 yards and two touchdowns for the Trojans but also had an interception and was under pressure for much of the day.

It was the defense that stepped up for USC, intercepting a pass from Ross Bowers in the first quarter to set up a field goal and then delivering the big play early in the fourth quarter after Chase McGrath gave the Trojans a 16-13 lead with his third field goal of the game.

Josh Fatu knocked the ball out of Bowers' hand and Uchenna Nwosu recovered the fumble at the 3. Carr ran it in two plays later from the 2 to make it 23-13.

Ykili Ross then intercepted Bowers' pass on the next possession, setting up Darnold's 4-yard TD pass to Deontay Burnett that put away the game.

Bowers finished 22 for 50 for 303 yards with one touchdown, four interceptions and two lost fumbles.

THE TAKEAWAY

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: The Trojans struggled for much of the game without starting RB Ronald Jones (ankle) and WR Steven Mitchell (groin) but managed to pull away late in their first road game of the season.

CALIFORNIA: The Bears used an improved defense to start 3-0 under first-year coach Justin Wilcox but this was supposed to be the test of how far they had come. Cal showed plenty by sticking with a national title contender for three quarters. A sequence on the opening drive of the second will haunt the Bears. Patrick Laird dropped a potential TD in the end zone and Matt Anderson then missed a 29-yard field goal that kept the game tied at 13.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

A win against an unranked team should do little to alter USC's poll position.

UP NEXT

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Visits No. 18 Washington State on Friday.

CALIFORNIA: Visits No. 24 Oregon on Saturday.

From feeding homeless to doing the splits, Stanford's Phillips a rare find

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From feeding homeless to doing the splits, Stanford's Phillips a rare find

Stanford has a penchant for recruiting the overachieving student-athlete. Even among those standards, Harrison Phillips is a rare find. The senior defensive tackle helps feed the homeless every Friday morning at a local shelter. He often visits the kids in the oncology ward at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. He was named to the Pac-12 All Academic First Team and will graduate in December with a double major and a minor. He is a team captain and heir apparent to Solomon Thomas, the 49ers third overall pick in this year’s NFL draft.

“One thing you love about Harrison is, every day he’s going to get something done,” head coach David Shaw told NBC Sports Bay Area. “On the field, off the field, in the community, he’s always got a million things going on. But nothing ever suffers.

"He does everything at a high level.”

At 6-foot-4, 290 pounds, Phillips is a mountain of a man. His skill set is different than that of Thomas, but he can be just as disruptive. He plays over the center. He plays over the guards. His self-proclaimed job is to eat as many blocks as possible to keep the linebackers free.

“He’s such that hard point for us. He’s that guy up front that’s getting knock back, that force in the run game that you gotta have,” defensive coordinator Lance Anderson explained. “You have to have that strong solid point in the middle of your defense, and he provides that.”

Phillips had a game-high 11 tackles, five of them solo, in the Cardinal’s loss to USC. No other defensive lineman on the field had more than three.

“He’s outstanding against the run. He’s a very good pass rusher,” Shaw added. “He’s got a lot of tools that can work inside.”

Phillips main instruments of domination are strength, knowledge of leverage and abnormal flexibility for a man of his size.

“He can do the splits on command,” Thomas said laughing from in front of his locker after a recent 49ers practice. “He loves showing it off. We get on him for it. But he loves doing it.

And, according to Thomas, his former Stanford teammate loves to bench. So it comes as no surprise that Phillips’ upper body strength stands out.

“He’ll be really low in a position that you think he’d get knocked over in,” Thomas explained. “Because of how flexible he is, it’s not a problem for him to get in that position and stay there and move on from there. It definitely shows up on his film.”

No doubt, Phillips says, that ability comes from his wrestling experience. His high school curriculum vitae includes, “Nebraska State Wrestling Champion, Heavy Weight Division, Sophomore, Junior and Senior years.”

Phillips first year on The Farm, he vividly remembers his Stanford coaches testing him. Just a mere 245 pounds at the time, they put him up against Joshua Garnett and Andrus Peat, two offensive linemen now in the NFL and each well over 300 pounds.

“They’d double team me, almost 700 pounds on you, and I would somehow find leverage and be able to sit on some of those double teams,” Phillips said. “I think the violence that wrestling brings, and balance and being comfortable in weird positions, wrestling has a ton of scrambling, as it's called, you just know your body and know what you can do. I have tremendous flexibility, and I use everything to my advantage.”

One thing Phillips is not allowed to do is use his explosiveness away from the football field. At one time, Phillips could do a back flip off the wall, but he no longer attempts it.

“I’m not a big fan of the back hand springs,” Shaw said. “I’d like for him to stay on his feet.”

Phillips doesn’t argue. He lost his entire sophomore year to a knee injury, and doesn’t want to risk another. He has NFL aspirations and put himself in position to graduate in three-and-a-half years should he choose to enter the 2018 draft. But just as he has done at Stanford, he is looking to be more than just a name on a jersey should he play on a professional level.

“I want to build something that is really lasting,” Phillips said of his life goal, “and put my name on something to touch people’s lives and change people’s lives, pay it forward as much as I can.”