Unsurprisingly, the Bears dropped their final two games of the regular season against both the Ducks and the Beavers, losing by 33 and 3 points, respectively.
In the first game of their Oregon road stand, the Bears put up a measly 51 points to the Ducks’ 84. As the final box score would suggest, the Bears’ shooting splits were atrocious: 35.2% from the field overall and 15.4% from 3-point land. However, Cal did outshoot Oregon from the charity stripe on similar volume: 78.6% on 14 attempts compared to the Ducks’ 61.5% on 13 attempts.
While the shooting splits for a team as mediocre as the Bears can be excusable and almost expected, the most concerning stat from this game was the rebounding discrepancy, as Cal was outrebounded 45 to 21. Furthermore, the Ducks outrebounded the Bears 15 to six on the offensive glass.
While Oregon does have some size on the Bears, a rebounding disparity of those margins is simply inexcusable and an effort issue. Getting more than doubled in rebounds on both the offensive and defensive glass is a key ingredient in a recipe for disaster in basketball.
Individually, Cal’s wings “carried” the load; sophomore forward Sam Alajiki led the way with 11 points (Cal’s only double-digit scorer) on 4-5 shooting, while freshman forward Grant Newell chipped in 9 points of his own.
Meanwhile, the Ducks put on a scoring clinic with five double-digit scorers. Senior guard Jermaine Couisnard led the team with 17 points on an extremely efficient 6-8 from the field, shooting 60% from distance. Couisnard’s efficient night clearly rubbed off on his teammates, as all of Oregon’s double-digit scorers shot above 50% from the field.
Although there are plenty more statistics that would illustrate Cal’s mediocrity on both ends, the word cap of this article doesn’t allow for it.
Cal’s final game of the regular season was a tale of two halves, but a much more digestible game for Cal fans following the Oregon match. The Bears fell just short of victory, losing 69-66 to the Oregon State Beavers.
Cal had an excellent first half, winning the half by 8 points. The Bears shot 54.17% from the field overall and 44.44% from the 3 compared to Oregon State’s 36.36 overall field-goal percentage.
In the second half, however, Cal came back down to Earth, losing the half by 11 (41-30). The Bears shot 37.5% overall in the final half, while the Beavers elevated their offensive play, shooting 48% overall from the field.
Nevertheless, Cal’s overall shooting splits in this match were a welcome sight to see following the Oregon game. The Bears shot 45.8% from the field overall and an impressive 41.7% from 3, albeit on relatively low volume with 12 attempts. The Bears were also only outrebounded by two against the Beavers, and actually beat Oregon State on the offensive boards eight to seven.
The Bears’ leading scorer this time around proved to be Joel Brown, with an efficient 22 points on 7-12 shooting. Brown, not known for his 3-point shot, hit two of his three shots from distance. He controlled the offense, leading Cal’s charge with four assists and just one turnover. Cal wings Newell and Kuany Kuany also had solid games, combining for 20 points on 8-16 shooting (10 points each).
Although Cal’s final game was bearable, the Bears still ended the season 3-28, officially solidifying its spot in the books as the worst-performing Cal team in history with a 0.97 win-loss percentage.
The Bears will be given one final chance at redemption March 8, when they face Washington State in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament. But as the numbers indicate, the upcoming matchup is not looking too rosy for this Cal team.