BERKELEY, Calif. &
Now that California has gotten the hang of pulling out close games, the Golden Bears want to be good enough to avoid those tense moments at the end of games.
Ryan Anderson scored 22 points to become the first sophomore at California to reach the 1,000 mark and the Golden Bears held Oregon State scoreless for more than 4 minutes down the stretch to pull out an 81-76 victory Thursday night.
The win was not nearly as easy as expected for the Golden Bears (14-7, 5-5 Pac-10), who returned home fresh off a sweep at Washington State and Washington last weekend to face a Beavers team looking for its first conference win of the season. It was Cal's third straight close win after losing three straight home games down the stretch before the trip to Washington.
"We don't want to keep putting ourselves in positions where it's close at the end and bad things can happen," forward Jamal Boykin said. "We don't want to keep putting ourselves in those situations. I feel going forward that's something we really have to pay attention to."
Oregon State (6-16, 0-10) managed to make this one tough for Cal before losing its 12th straight game. Marcel Jones' three-point play midway through the second half capped a 9-1 run that gave the Beavers a 62-60 lead.
The game remained tight until Nikola Knezevic hit a 3-pointer from the corner with 2:16 to go to make it 73-68. Cal scored the next five points to put it away.
"Maybe our team thinks we have to get to the end of the game to close a game out," coach Ben Braun said. "I'd like to close a game out earlier if we could. At least we have that feeling where we can close a game late in the game. We made some big plays when the game was on the line. Nikola hit a huge 3-pointer."
Calvin Hampton missed a front-end of a one-and-one and Josh Tarver missed a 3-pointer on Oregon State's previous two possessions with the Beavers down by just two points.
Oregon State went more than four minutes without scoring down the stretch before Tarver's 3-pointer made it 78-71 with 42.3 seconds to go. Omari Johnson added another — to cut it to four with 31 seconds left, but Anderson hit two free throws to get the lead back up to six.
"I think they're seasoned," Oregon State interim coach Kevin Mouton said. "They're mature. They don't make mistakes at the end of games that compile to 8-0, 10-0 runs."
Anderson reached the 1,000-point milestone by making one of two free throws with 10:53 remaining in the game to give Cal a 59-53 lead. Ed Gray and Mark McNamara each scored more than 1,000 points in their first two seasons at Cal, but both of those players arrived as transfers instead of freshmen.
"That's awesome," Anderson said. "I haven't really focused much on that. It's a great accomplishment. But I have to give it to my coaches and teammates. They got me the ball. My coaches since last year gave me the opportunity to come out and play and get in the rotation. This is a place that lets me play my style of game."
Anderson, who leads the Pac-10 in scoring at 22.1 points per game, added 12 rebounds in his 13th 20-point game of the season.
DeVon Hardin, who missed last weekend's trip to Washington with a viral infection, came off the bench this game and had nine points and three rebounds. Boykin started in his place and did well once again, scoring Cal's first seven points of the game and finishing with 13 points and eight boards.
Patrick Christopher added 15 points and Jerome Randle had 11 for Cal, which won for the 25th time in 28 meetings with Oregon State.
Johnson led the Beavers with 16 points, Jones added 15 and Lathen Wallace had 10. Mouton, who took over when Jay John was fired last month, dropped to 0-4 for Oregon State.
"I feel we're getting closer," Mouton said. "We still have some things to work on down the stretch. We made some mental mistakes that cost us on the defensive end. ... I think we are getting closer. But it's going to take a lot of hard work still."
Cal opened the game shooting just 6-for-20 and fell behind 21-13 midway through the first half. DeVon Hardin helped the Bears snap out of the drought when he slammed home a pass from David Liss. Cal heated up after that, going on an 18-2 run that turned a nine-point deficit into a 38-31 lead in the final minute of the half.
Jones hit a 3-pointer in the final seconds of the half for Oregon State, cutting Cal's lead to 40-36.
Anderson reaches 1,000-point mark, Cal beats OSU
BERKELEY, Calif. &