California needed a win or at least a strong performance hosting No. 16 Creighton Saturday. What happened instead was a disappointing effort as they lost 74-64, which means the Bears are still looking for their first win in December. Three consecutive losses after a six-game winning streak.
They got it close to 46-43 but an 11-0 run by Creighton sapped the momentum out of Haas Pavilion. Leading the way was All-American Doug McDermott, who shined with 34 points and 9 rebounds. But the other half of the high-scoring showdown failed to pan out as Allen Crabbe had perhaps his worst shooting performance of the season.
Crabbe had 14 points but shot 6-for-26 from the field. It was indicative of Cal shooting a terrible 34.6% from the field, which had me thinking the Bears were the road team. The only positive was that they out-rebounded Creighton 47-36 but for the most part, they couldn’t match the second gear that Creighton summoned to pull away.
Even worse, Cal fell flat in the final minutes. They had several layups and three-pointers fall short due to Creighton’s swarming defense and it didn’t help when Richard Solomon got an unnecessary technical foul for arguing a call.
Justin Cobbs‘ performance aside (18 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds), the Golden Bears needed more offense and they came out flat. On a day when Arizona gave the Pac-12 a great boost, Cal instead showed why Creighton is a great team and McDermott is one of the nation’s best players.
On the bright side, Cal’s winless December should end when they face UC Santa Barbara Dec. 18. With Prairie View A&M and Harvard right behind that, the Bears will at least end the year on a good note.