Oregon St. at California
When: 6:30 PM ET, Saturday, February 13, 2016
Where: Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, California
It took longer than expected, but California is finally playing like the team that was picked to make a deep run in next month’s NCAA Tournament. The Bears head into Saturday’s matchup against visiting Oregon State riding high after improving to 15-0 at home this season with Thursday’s dominant 83-63 win over No. 12 Oregon.
Senior Tyrone Wallace was cleared hours before Thursday’s contest after missing five games due to a broken right hand and recorded 10 points, eight rebounds and four assists in 28 minutes off the bench. The all-Pac-12 point guard will likely return to the starting lineup against Oregon State, which notched its first league road victory in more than a year and never trailed in Thursday’s 62-50 victory over Stanford. Beavers point guard Gary Payton II is the only player in the Pac-12 in the top 10 in scoring (16.4, sixth), rebounding (7.8, eighth), assists (5.4, second) and steals (2.4, first), and the senior filled the box score with 20 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists and four steals in a 77-71 win over Cal in Corvallis on Jan. 9. Payton will likely need a repeat performance against an improved Cal team that leads the league in scoring defense at 66.5 points per game and continues to be especially stingy at home.TV:
6:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12 NetworkABOUT OREGON STATE (15-8, 6-6 Pac-12):
The Beavers are powered on both ends of the court by Payton but also feature a trio of talented freshmen in Stephen Thompson Jr., Drew Eubanks and Tres Tinkle, who has led the team in scoring and rebounding in two of the past four games. Oregon State ranks last in the Pac-12 in rebounding margin at minus-2.7 and face another stiff test against Cal’s formidable front line. Coach Wayne Tinkle has received a boost off the bench from 6-foot-11 freshman center Gligorije Rakocevic, who has seen a bump in playing time over the last two games and might be used to help neutralize Cal big men Kameron Rooks and Kingsley Okoroh.ABOUT CAL (16-8, 6-5):
Aside from Wallace’s return, the major story from Thursday’s win over the Ducks was the play of junior wing Jabari Bird, who made five 3-pointers and matched his career high with 24 points. Freshmen forwards Ivan Rabb and Jaylen Brown combined for 30 points and 17 rebounds in last month’s loss to the Beavers, and the duo will only benefit if the inconsistent Bird proves to be a reliable scoring threat. Oregon State forced 16 turnovers and held Bird to three points on 1-of-7 shooting in 23 minutes last month, but the Bears have improved their inside game recently with the emergence of Rooks, who is averaging 4.5 rebounds in limited playing time.TIP-INS
1. Cal is 15-3 at home against Oregon State since the 1994-95 season.
2. The Beavers outscored the Bears off the bench 42-8 in last month’s meeting.
3. Cal is 14-2 when outrebounding its opponent.PREDICTION:
Cal 74, Oregon State 67
Stats and Records