Cal drew a tough weekend but didn't get as beat up as I would have expected. They had a hard time in Tucson and ran into a buzz-saw against No. 11 Arizona. Jalen Celestine, the Golden Bears' leading scorer, finished the night with 13 points, while Jaylon Tyson was held in check and only posted 10 points in the crushing 91-65 defeat. It's hard to fault Cal, for losing to Arizona though.
Cal rebounded by taking advantage of an Arizona State team that's losing momentum quickly. Both Fardaws Aimaw and Jaylon Tyson posted double-doubles and Jalen Cone tacked on another 19 points. Aimaq now leads the conference in double-doubles and the Golden Bears surprised Arizona State by running through them 81-66.
Next week: Cal is playing host to the Los Angeles teams, with USC rolling into Haas Pavilion on Wednesday and UCLA on Saturday.
USC finally snapped the losing skid, but not before dropping their sixth straight against Oregon. Boogie Ellis looked back to form with 17 points, and two Trojans players tallied four blocks apiece. However, the late comeback attempt spearheaded by Ellis ended with four straight missed shots before the buzzer sounded on the 78-69 defeat.
USC responded by catching Oregon State on its heels and ending the losing streak with an emphatic 82-54 win. DJ Rodman posted a double-double stat line reminiscent of his father, Dennis: 12 points and 14 rebounds. The Trojans struck early, jumping out to an 18-8 lead in the first half, and rolled with the momentum to the buzzer.
Next week: USC is taking a trip to the Bay Area to play Cal on Wednesday and Stanford on Saturday.
This slide down to the bottom of the standings hurts, but it's not entirely Oregon State's fault. Everybody else above them just won a game and proved something. A stellar showing last weekend featuring a sweep over the desert schools was overshadowed this week by getting swept by the Southern California-based schools.
UCLA was first on the schedule, and it was a close contest for most of it. The Beavers were only down 2 points heading into halftime, and Jordan Pope nailed a 3-pointer to secure an Oregon State lead during the second quarter. However, UCLA kept its foot on the gas and left no room for a strong finish from the Beavers as they fell 71-63.
Things got even worse when USC started the game off with a swift pop in the mouth. Jordan Pope finished with an uncharacteristic 14 points, and Tyler Bilodeau only tallied 12. Losing Michael Rataj to injury in the second half didn't help, either, and Oregon State got shellacked 82-54.
Next week: Washington State and Washington are coming to Corvallis, with the Cougars hitting the hardwood on Thursday and the Huskies on Saturday.