FINAL: Cal 77, No. 7 Arizona 69
Arizona forward Solomon Hill drives to the basket against Cal guard Tyrone Wallace in the first half of Sunday’s game against the Golden Bears at McKale Center. Arizona led 38-33 at halftime and Hill led the UA with 11 points.
Tyler Besh / Arizona Daily Wildcat
Guard Allen Crabbe and California overwhelmed the No. 7 Arizona men’s basketball team 77-69 Sunday night at McKale Center to halt the Wildcats’ four-game win streak and bid to take full control of the Pac-12.
Arizona’s (20-3, 8-3 Pac-12) defense was unable to stop the deadly-efficient Crabbe who scored 31 points on 12-for-15 shooting, and contributed in other was as well, with a game-high seven rebounds and five assists.
The Wildcats appeared to be positioned to make another late comeback when senior Mark Lyons cut the Cal (14-9, 6-5) lead to 71-69 with 2:02 remaining on a corner 3-pointer. But as the story was all night, the Wildcats couldn’t stop Crabbe and the Golden Bears.
Crabbe and Justin Cobbs both hit layups in the final two minutes, while Arizona missed its final six shots to fall at home for just the second time this year.
Lyons had 16 points with five rebounds and three assists, but airballed a crucial 3-pointer late in the game, while shooting 35.7 percent. Fellow senior Solomon Hill had 13 points and freshman Brandon Ashley added 12 points and nine rebounds, but neither shot over 40 percent from the floor.
As a whole, Arizona made 22-of-56 (39.3) percent of its shots while Cal remained hot the entire game, hitting 58.8 percent from the floor.
Arizona never led for the final 16:58 of the game, a stark contrast to how the game started.
With the shot clock off and a seven-point lead going into halftime, the Wildcats had a chance to take the game to double-digit advantage. Instead, forward Brandon Ashley turned it over, resulting in a last-second layup by Crabbe.
The 38-33 halftime lead that the Wildcats enjoyed would soon be short lived.
Crabbe and the Golden Bears hung onto the change in momentum through the break to outscored Arizona 19-2 in the 4:30 minute stretch, including a 15-0 run in early minutes of the second half. Crabbe was unstoppable during that time, scoring 13 points while not missing a shot. He even added the rare four-point play, after being fouled while making a 3-pointer.
A corner three by freshman Grant Jerrett stopped the bleeding and sparked a 9-2 Wildcats run.
The only thing that kept the Wildcats in the game was their efficiency from three (9-for-18). The larger Arizona was outrebounded 31-28 and shot a pedestrian 66.7 percent from the free throw line.