California knocks off No. 7 Arizona

Associated Press  |  Last updated February 10, 2013
Allen Crabbe scored 19 of his 31 points in the second half, Justin Cobbs hit a big shot in the closing seconds and California held its composure down the stretch to knock off No. 7 Arizona 77-69 Sunday night. Cal (14-9, 6-5 Pac-12) rallied from a 15-point deficit behind its defense against Arizona State on Thursday before coming up just short in a 66-62 loss. The Bears did the same thing to Arizona, keying a big run that put them up 10 with their zone. Cal held on behind Crabbe and Cobbs, who scored on layup with 39 seconds left and had 21 points. Arizona (20-3, 8-3) never fully recovered after struggling against Cal's zone defense to open in the second half and had 17 turnovers to end a five-game winning streak. Mark Lyons had 16 points, Solomon Hill added 13 and Brandon Ashley 12 for the Wildcats, the sixth top-10 team to lose this week. Arizona has had a penchant for getting off to slow starts this season, particularly at home, of all places. The Wildcats did it against Florida in a matchup of top-10 teams in December before rallying for a victory and did the same thing against Stanford the last game to nearly spoil the 40th anniversary of the McKale Center opening doors. Arizona wasn't so fortunate against UCLA on Jan. 24, unable to fully recover after missing 12 of its first 13 shots and falling behind 19-3. The Wildcats weren't as bad as they were against UCLA, but weren't particularly sharp, either. Arizona struggled with its shooting early and had some breakdowns defensively, allowing Cal to make 15 of 28 shots and Crabbe to score 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting. The Wildcats still managed to lead 38-33 at halftime, thanks to Hill's 11 points and 10-of-13 shooting from the free throw line. The Bears helped Arizona out with eight mostly-careless turnovers - two by David Kravish sailed directly into the crowd - that led to 12 points for Arizona. Once the second half started, Cal tried to run away with it. The Bears gave Arizona State problems by switching defenses with 8 minutes left in Thursday's game. Cal got its defensive mojo going earlier against Arizona by switching to a zone to start the second half. Indecisive and tentative, the Wildcats opened the half by missing nine of their first 10 shots against the Bears' zone, many of those late in the shot clock and contested. At the other end, the Bears made their first five shots to open with a 17-2 run, going up 50-40 on Crabbe's four-point play. The Wildcats clawed their way back with a 9-2 run to stay within reach, but Cal pulled away in the closing seconds. Crabbe scored on a difficult baseline drive with just under 2 minutes left and Cobbs hit his layup that put the Bears up 75-69.
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