Pac-12 ATB: Cal Exposed, USC Hangs On

Posted by Connor Pelton on November 23rd, 2011

The Lede.  After winning its first four games by an average of 22 points, people expected California to not only compete with Missouri, but beat them on Tuesday night. However, that was far from the case, as the Tigers never let up in the CBE Classic championship,winning 92-53. Like California, Missouri was relatively unknown coming into this game due to their lack of quality opponents. However, a 14-5 run midway through the first half gave the Tigers some initial seperation, and they would just keep building and building that lead as the night wore on.

California guard Jorge Gutierrez led the Bears with 11 points against Missouri (credit: Ray Carlin).

Even though the final result was awful, in the end it is just one game amounting to one loss. Cal fans should be thankful that it was against a Top 25 team like Missouri instead of Loyola Marymount. The Tigers’ mix of an explosive four-guard offense and tenacious half-court trapping on the defensive side is something that the Bears won’t see in Pac-12 play, luckily.

Meanwhile…  USC got a major MEAC application résumé-building win on Tuesday, a 65-62 victory over perennial-powerhouse Morgan State at the Galen Center. This was a huge game, almost a play-in of sorts to enter the MEAC; Win and you’re in, lose and you drop to D-II. In all seriousness, the Trojans are terrible. For those of you keeping track at home, they now have wins over 1-3 Cal State Northridge and 0-4 Morgan State. Two of the three losses haven’t been that bad (Nebraska and San Diego State), but then came Cal Poly. The 2-2 Mustangs held SC to just 36 points in their upset of the Trojans.

The final Pac-12 game of the day was a respectable 16-point loss for UCLA against #14 Kansas.  Sixteen points isn’t very close, but the Bruins were in this one until the final three minutes. And considering that they lost to Middle Tennessee by 20 last week, the loss looks even better.

TodayFeast Week continues! At 4:00 PM PST, Stanford will meet Oklahoma State in the NIT Season Tipoff semifinals at Madison Square Garden in New York. A half-hour later you can jump all the way across the nation and catch the Bruins battle Michigan for third-place in the Maui Invitational. That should be a very fun game to watch, as we will get to see if the Bruins have made any true progress in Lahaina throughout the week. At 5:30 PM you can catch a good regional game between San Diego State-Arizona. The Wildcats come in stumbling after a ten-point loss against Mississippi State, while the Aztecs are fresh off a solid four-point overtime win against Long Beach State. We close out the day at 6:00 PM with a pair of road games for Pac-12 teams; Colorado-Air Force and Oregon-Nebraska.

Connor Pelton (300 Posts)

I'm from Portland. College basketball and football is life.

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