Four days removed from an emotional goodbye for senior forward David Kravish at Haas Pavilion, the Cal men’s basketball team (17-13, 7-10 Pac-12) was demolished by No. 5 Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, in a 99-60 loss.
The Bears, the last team to defeat the Wildcats on their home court in early 2013, headed to Arizona coming off a 73-56 victory over Oregon State last Sunday on Senior Day. In Kravish’s last home game as a Bear, he earned a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds, recording 11 of those points in the last nine minutes.
Cal traveled to McKale Center hoping to play spoiler against Arizona, one of the best teams in the nation and the preordained conference victor before the season even began. The Wildcats have now won 37 straight games at home and clinched their second straight outright Pac-12 title with their 39-point blowout of the Bears.
The Wildcats were led in the first half by junior forward Brandon Ashley, who scored 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting and was a perfect 5 of 5 from the charity stripe. Ashley finished the game with 21 total points and six rebounds. Junior center Kaleb Tarczewski added 14 points and eight rebounds as one of six Wildcats to score in double digits.
Despite scoring zero points in the first half, senior point guard T.J. McConnell dished out five assists. McConnell, always a pass-first player who is currently second in the Pac-12 in assists, finished with eight points and 11 assists in his second-to-last game at the McKale Center. With contributions across the board, Arizona entered halftime with a 48-27 lead, outrebounding Cal 26-16 while leading for more than17 minutes.
On the other hand, the Bears shot 30 percent from the field in the first half, including going 1 for 6 from beyond the arc. Cal was led by eight points from sophomore guards Jabari Bird and Sam Singer. Kravish was forced to sit after accruing two early fouls but went back into the game after the Bears’ lack of size quickly helped push Arizona’s lead to over 20.
With a little more than 14 minutes remaining in the game, Arizona proceeded to go on a 14-0 run over 2:53 while the Bears tallied four turnovers. With 11:37 left in the game, a basket from McConnell gave the Wildcats their 75th point — the nail on a coffin already sealed shut.
The Bears were hindered by fouls and turnovers early on, ending the game with 24 and 16, respectively. Four Cal players had three or more fouls — Christian Behrens, Singer, Kingsley Okoroh and Kravish — while forward Stanley Johnson was the only Wildcat with more than two personals.
Cal ultimately made 24 field goals, while Arizona had 23 assists, a disparity that appropriately summarized the game for the Bears. The Wildcats also outscored Cal in the paint, 44 to 22, and in bench points, 34 to 16. Arizona built its largest lead on the night with 26 seconds left in the second half on a jumper from junior guard Jacob Hazzard.
The Bears will look to avoid their fifth loss in six games Saturday morning, when they face Arizona State in their final regular season game of the year.