California's Jabari Bird celebrates hitting a 3-pointer against Oregon in the first half of their game on Thursday in Berkeley. (Ben Margot/AP)

California's Jabari Bird celebrates hitting a 3-pointer against Oregon in the first half of their game on Thursday in Berkeley. (Ben Margot/AP)

Ducks are no match for Bears: Jabari Bird scores season-high 24

Jabari Bird scored 16 of his season-high 24 points in the first half and punctuated his big night with a reverse dunk in the final seconds, leading California to an 83-63 victory over No. 11 Oregon on Thursday night.

The Ducks (20-5, 9-3) went into the game riding a six-game winning streak that helped them match their best start since 2006-07. They had also beaten the Bears this season at home.

None of that mattered this time.

Bird got the Bears going early, Jaylen Brown kept them rolling through a mid-game slump and Tyrone Wallace helped close things out in his first game in nearly a month.

The Golden Bears (16-8, 6-5 Pac-12) never trailed and led by as much as 25 while remaining unbeaten at Haas Pavilion this season.

It’s Cal’s third win over a ranked team this season and second in less than three weeks.

Brown scored 16 points, Ivan Rabb had 13 points and seven rebounds, while Wallace finished with 10 points in his return to the Bears lineup.

“Definitely a great win against a great team,” said Bird, who shot 9 of 14. “I was just being aggressive, looking for spots and gaps in the offense to get an open look. I got good looks and my job was just to make shots. I did that.”

Cal lost to Oregon 68-65 when the two teams met in Eugene. This time, the Bears left no doubt.

Bird got Cal off to a fast start with three quick 3-pointers early and repeatedly burned the Ducks from the perimeter. He finished with five 3s and the Bears had nine overall.

Oregon made one final push late and pulled within 72-57 with 4:51 remaining before Kameron Rooks scored on a tip-in to half the Ducks’ surge. Brown followed with three consecutive baskets for Cal before Bird scored on a reverse dunk to cap the Bears’ scoring and bring the sellout crowd of 10,628 to its feet.

It’s another big step forward for coach Cuonzo Martin’s team. Cal previously beat No. 21 Utah, No. 12 Arizona and lost by one in overtime to then-No. 5 Virginia on Dec. 22.

Cal made its first five 3-point attempts and led 21-9 just six minutes into the first half. Bird, who was limited to just two points in the Bears’ loss at Oregon in January, led the Bears with nine points — all from behind the arc.

Sam Singer made two free throws to extend the lead to 29-9 with 10 minutes left.

Oregon never recovered from the slow start and trailed 42-24 at halftime.

Cal plays Oregon State on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. in Berkeley.

Cal Bearscal berkeleycalifornia berkeleyCollege SportsCuonzo Martindana altmaIvan RabbJabari BirdJaylen BrownKameron RooksOregonOregon Ducksuniversity of oregon

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted changes to The City's streets including Slow Streets closures to increase open space access and the Shared Spaces program, which allows businesses to use public right-of-ways for dining, retail and services. (Examiner illustration)
COVID is reshaping the streets of San Francisco

Walk down Page Street, which is closed to thru-traffic, and you might… Continue reading

Superintendent Vincent Matthews said some students and families who want to return will not be able to do so at this time. “We truly wish we could reopen schools for everyone,” he said. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFUSD sets April reopening date after reaching tentative agreement with teachers union

San Francisco Unified School District has set April 12 as its reopening… Continue reading

José Victor Luna and Maria Anabella Ochoa, who cite health reasons for continuing distance learning, say they have been enjoying walking in Golden Gate Park with their daughters Jazmin, a first grader, and Jessica, a third grader. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Some SFUSD families prefer distance learning

Health issues, classroom uncertainties among reasons for staying home

Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed legislation intended to help California schools reopen. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Newsom signs $6.6 billion school reopening legislative package

By Eli Walsh Bay City News Foundation Gov. Gavin Newsom and state… Continue reading

Most Read