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Men's College Basketball
Preview
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 Network

ABOUT 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
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Neutral Day Night Conf
Oregon St. 15-8 W3 10-3 3-4 2-1 6-0 9-8 6-6
California 16-8 W2 15-0 1-6 0-2 6-2 10-6 6-5
Last Meeting
Oregon St. California
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
1/9/16 CAL 71 ORST 77 77 25 42.9 71 30 52.2
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Oregon St. G. Payton II 20 40.0 4
California J. Brown 20 61.5 2
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Oregon St. G. Payton II 11 5 6
California I. Rabb 10 1 9
Assists Player  
Oregon St. G. Payton II 8
California T. Wallace 6
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Oregon St. G. Payton II 377 49.5 61
California J. Brown 379 45.7 105
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Oregon St. G. Payton II 179 59 120
California I. Rabb 200 64 136
Assists Player  
Oregon St. G. Payton II 124
California T. Wallace 85
Quickchart Matchup
blue bar Oregon St. Off vs  red bar California Defense
blue bar 70.8 Points For
red bar 66.5 Points Against
blue bar 43.7 FG%
red bar 38.9 FG%
blue bar 30.4 Reb
red bar 28.5 Reb
red bar California Off vs  blue bar Oregon St. Defense
red bar 74.7 Points For
blue bar 68.5 Points Against
red bar 47.0 FG%
blue bar 42.6 FG%
red bar 28.5 Reb
blue bar 33.5 Reb