Pacific (3-2) vs. California (5-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, November 25, 9 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Anaheim Convention Center Arena (9,000) -- Anaheim,
California. Television: ESPN2. Home Record: Pacific 1-1, California 2-0. Away
Record: Pacific 0-1, California 1-0. Neutral Record: Pacific 2-0, California
2-0. Conference Record: Pacific 0-0, California 0-0. Series Record: California
GAME NOTES: The Pacific Tigers will try to pull off a third upset to take home
a tournament title as they meet the undefeated California Golden Bears in the
DirecTV Classic Championship at Anaheim Convention Center Arena.
No other Big West Conference team had won its first-round game of this event
in the past six seasons. Coach Bob Thomason's squad did not appear to be
destined to break the trend after his team came in with a 1-2 record and
without any wins over Division I competition. Pacific went into its first-
round game versus a then undefeated Xavier squad as a huge underdog, but it
overcame an early deficit to edge the Musketeers, 70-67. The Tigers were once
again expected to be handed a loss when they squared off with future West
Coast Conference rival Saint Mary's in the second round. Instead, Pacific held
a 34-24 edge in the rebounding battle and scored 18 points off of turnovers to
shoot past the Gaels.
California is without a loss after five games. The Golden Bears outscored four
of their first five opponent by double-digit margins, with the lone exception
being their 73-70 triumph over Drake in the first round. In that contest, they
showed how quickly they can turn on the switch by overcoming a nine-point
deficit over the final seven minutes to remain in the winner's bracket.
Montgomery's team then took on Georgia Tech in the second round. Although the
Yellow Jackets were holding their opposition to an average of 45.7 ppg,
California cruised to a 68-57 decision. One more win would give Cal its first
6-0 start since the 2007-08 season.
The Tigers will have history to overcome in this one as well as they have only
defeated California twice out of 27 matchups. The Bears are 2-0 versus Pacific
under current head coach Mike Montgomery.
The Tigers will hope to stay hot after they knocked down 53.1 percent of their
field goal attempts versus the Gaels. Saint Mary's, which came in with a 4-0
record, shot just 41.8 percent from the field against Pacific's defense.
Lorenzo McCloud led the way with 18 points after he converted 8-of-9 attempts
at the charity stripe. The senior guard was held to six points on 3-of-8
shooting from the floor by Xavier in his previous outing. Ross Rivera, Khalil
Kelley, and Sama Taku all scored in double figures in the contest as well. The
team managed to make 21-of-26 at the free-throw line, while SMC made nine of
only 10 foul shots.
Through five games, California has outscored its opponents by 11 ppg, while
shooting 47.8 percent from the floor. The Golden Bears have also been actively
attacking the glass for 41.2 rebounds per game, which is 9.8 rpg more than
their opponents' average. The backcourt duo of Crabbe and Justin Cobbs has
been unstoppable for the Golden Bears. Cobbs has led the team through the
tourney so far with 38 points in two games. Crabbe is pacing the team on the
season with 21.6 ppg. Richard Solomon and Tyrone Wallace each scored in double
figures versus Georgia Tech, while David Kravish grabbed a game-high nine
The Tigers have earned wins through the first two rounds with great defense,
hustle, and scoring. The Golden Bears will be very tough to slow down,
especially with Cobbs playing at another level right now. California will stay
perfect and hand Pacific a loss for the 26th time in history.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: California 78, Pacific 67
11/25 10:33:50 ET
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