Courtesy: Oregon State Sports Information
BERKELEY, Calif. – Roberto Nelson scored a game-high 25 points and Joe Burton added 14 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, but Oregon State was unable to pull out a thrilling game Thursday night at Haas Pavilion in a 71-68 loss to California.
The Beavers (11-10, 1-7 Pac-12) played one of their best halves of the season to build a 41-33 lead at halftime behind 60 percent shooting from the field. They held a 59-53 advantage with 9:04 to play when California stars Allen Crabbe and Justin Cobbs combined to score 12 of the Golden Bears final 18 points.
Burton gave Oregon State a 66-64 lead with 3:15 to play, but Cobbs hit a three-pointer before Starks nailed a jumper to make it 69-68 Cal with 1:22 left in the game. Richard Solomon threw down a dunk with 17.6 seconds to play after an offensive rebound and the Beavers were unable to get a game-tying shot off as time expired.
“We had a play called in case we had to go for a three, and I was hoping we could get the ball inbounds without them having a chance to set up. But such is the way it goes,” Robinson said. “I thought we played 37, 38 minutes of good basketball on the road and playing tough. It’s just a shame we couldn’t pull that one out.”
Nelson made 10 of his 16 shots, including 2-of-3 from beyond the arc and all three free throw attempts, to finish with 25 points. Burton was two rebounds and two assists shy of a triple-double, while Starks had 12 points and Devon Collier added 10.
“It’s really frustrating because we work hard in practice all week,” Nelson said. “We have to keep working through it. We can’t get discouraged. It’s alright to be mad about it but we can’t down and we can’t get down on each other. We have to keep working through it.”
Crabbe had 15 points and eight rebounds, while Cobbs added 14 points and matched his season high of seven assists, to help fifth-year California coach Mike Montgomery to his 100th career victory at the school. The Golden Bears improved to 12-8 overall and 4-4 in Pac-12 play.
The Beavers conclude their Bay Area swing when they play at Stanford on Sunday at noon in a game that will be televised nationally on the Pac-12 Networks.