California coach Mike Montgomery has been reluctant to use a zone defense much this season because, frankly, his team hasn't been very good...
TUCSON, Ariz. — California coach Mike Montgomery has been reluctant to use a zone defense much this season because, frankly, his team hasn’t been very good at it.
After the Golden Bears had some success with the zone late against Arizona State, he decided to give it a go to open the second half against No. 7 Arizona.
It couldn’t have worked out any better, sending another top-10 team to a loss.
Sparked by its zone, Cal went on a big run to open the second half and held on behind the shooting of Allen Crabbe and Justin Cobbs for a 77-69 victory Sunday night over the Wildcats, the sixth top-10 team to lose this week.
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“We had a rhythm and communication,” Montgomery said. “They had some penetration, but it took them out of their norm. We haven’t been very good at it this season and it was a matter of game and circumstance.”
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 went to their zone earlier against Arizona, keying a 17-2 run that put them up 10 early in the second half.
at Oregon State 68
Spencer Dinwiddie scored 24 points, including six free throws in the final two minutes, as the Buffalos held off the Beavers.
Josh Scott scored 17 points and Andre Roberson had seven points and 10 rebounds for Colorado (16-7, 6-5), which overcame a seven-point second-half deficit.
Roberto Nelson had 21 points and Ahmad Starks scored 20 points for Oregon State (12-12, 2-9).
Joe Burton had 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Beavers.