LAS VEGAS -- Jabari Bird scored 20 points and converted a key 3-point play with 54 seconds left, helping California grind out a 67-62 victory over Oregon State Wednesday in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament.
Cal (20-11) labored for most of the game offensively and had a hard time containing Oregon State's Stephen Thompson Jr. The fifth-seeded Bears pulled it out behind Bird and a strong second half by Ivan Rabb, earning a spot in Thursday's quarterfinals against fourth-seeded Utah.
Rabb finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds after scoring two on 1-of-7 shooting in the first half.
Thompson had 25 points and hit 5 of 6 from 3-point range to keep Oregon State (5-27) in the game until late. The Beavers pulled within 59-57, but Bird was fouled on a layup and hit the free throw to put Cal up five.
The Bears came into the game knowing they couldn't afford a letdown against the 12th-seeded Beavers to maintain any hope of reaching the NCAA Tournament.
Cal won the two regular-season meetings against Oregon State by a combined 41 points, but the Beavers were ready for the Bears in round three.
Oregon State opened the game by making three of its first four shots from 3-point range and hounded Cal defensively. The Beavers had an early 10-4 run to lead by eight and withstood a run by Cal to stay within 32-29 at halftime.
Oregon State continued to hang around, still within one after Cal forgot to guard Thompson on back-to-back 3-pointers midway through.
Even when the Bears tried to pull away, the Beavers stayed on their heels, keeping the game closer than expected.
Oregon State should be in good shape headed into next season with a young roster that loses only backup center Cheikh N'diaye.
Cal will need to play better in the quarterfinals against Utah, a team it split with during the regular season.
Oregon State's season is over.
Cal faces Utah in the Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinals on Thursday.