NCAA

Cal holds off Stanford 77-71 in quarterfinals

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Cal holds off Stanford 77-71 in quarterfinals

BOX SCORE
LOS ANGELES -- Jorge Gutierrez scored 19 of his 22 points in the second half, Harper Kamp added 17 points, and California avenged last weekend's loss to Stanford with a 77-71 victory over their Bay Area archrivals in the Pac-12 tournament quarterfinals on Thursday night.Justin Cobbs scored 15 points while playing strong defense on Stanford freshman sensation Chasson Randle for the second-seeded Golden Bears (24-8) in the schools' second meeting in five days. Stanford beat Cal 75-70 at Maples Pavilion, preventing the Bears from winning a share of the Pac-12 regular-season title.Thanks to that loss, Cal must win the tournament to breathe easily about its NCAA fate - and the Bears are the highest seed remaining at Staples Center after top-seeded Washington's stunning loss to ninth-seeded Oregon State six hours earlier.Andrew Zimmermann had a career-high 22 points and seven rebounds for the seventh-seeded Cardinal (21-11), who couldn't respond to Cal's second-half rally in the rivals' rubber match after each school won on its home floor during the regular season.Gutierrez, the Pac-12's player of the year and its top defensive player, led Cal's impressive comeback from a seven-point halftime deficit. The senior made 6 of 8 shots and finished seven assists and six rebounds for the Bears, who made a 15-3 run to open the second half.
REWIND: Stanford wins 75-70, denies Cal share of title
Randle scored 19 points for the Cardinal, but went 5 for 16 - just 2 of 9 on 3-pointers. The freshman dropped 27 of his 30 points on Arizona State in the first half of the Cardinal's opening-round victory.Cal didn't appear to try anything fancy against Randle, who scored 17 points against the Bears at Maples Pavilion last weekend. Cobbs' man-to-man coverage largely limited Randle's looks and harassed him into ineffectiveness.Stanford took a 30-23 lead into halftime despite just five points from Randle. Cal, which committed 14 turnovers before halftime and just three afterward, went up 38-33 on Allen Crabbe's 3-pointer 4 minutes into the second half.Cal maintained a narrow lead until Zimmermann's putback layup tied it at 60 with 6:06 to play. The Bears answered moments later with an 8-0 run capped by Cobbs' four straight free throws.Cal led 73-64 on Gutierrez's three-point play with 2:31 left, but Randle finally awoke with five quick points. David Kravish drew a key foul and hit two free throws with 40.7 seconds left, and the Bears hung on after stumbling into the league tournament following its first consecutive losses of the season.Cal had won five of its previous six meetings with Stanford before the Cardinal's surprising victory last weekend. Gutierrez even said he didn't believe the matchup was a true rivalry, given the Bears' domination since Mike Montgomery, the longtime Stanford coach, moved across the bay to Berkeley.The teams' mutual dislike surfaced repeatedly in the final minutes, with several players posturing and treading on the edge of technical fouls.

Louisville has 'effectively fired' head coach Rick Pitino

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AP

Louisville has 'effectively fired' head coach Rick Pitino

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Louisville has placed coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich on administrative leave amid a federal bribery investigation.

Jurich is on paid leave, while Pitino is on unpaid leave. The coach’s attorney, Steve Spence, told the Courier-Journal Wednesday that Louisville has “effectively fired” Pitino.

Pitino’s exit comes after the school acknowledged on Tuesday that the men’s program is part of a federal investigation into alleged bribery of recruits. The 65-year-old coach was not named in the indictment that resulted in the arrest of 10 people including four assistant coaches at other schools and an Adidas executive.

It is the latest black eye for the Cardinals program. Pitino and Louisville are in the middle of appealing NCAA sanctions following an embarrassing sex scandal.

Jurich has supported Pitino through his transgressions during the athletic director’s nearly 20-year tenure at the university.

Cal fights USC into fourth quarter, can't complete the upset

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AP

Cal fights USC into fourth quarter, can't complete the upset

BOX SCORE

BERKELEY -- Stephen Carr ran for a fourth-quarter touchdown two plays after Southern California's defense forced one of its six turnovers and the fifth-ranked Trojans won their 13th straight game, 30-20 over California on Saturday.

USC (4-0, 2-0 Pac-12) has dominated the series with its in-state rival by winning 14 straight against the Golden Bears (3-1, 0-1), but this was one of the tightest matchups in years as the game was tied early in the fourth quarter.

Sam Darnold threw for 223 yards and two touchdowns for the Trojans but also had an interception and was under pressure for much of the day.

It was the defense that stepped up for USC, intercepting a pass from Ross Bowers in the first quarter to set up a field goal and then delivering the big play early in the fourth quarter after Chase McGrath gave the Trojans a 16-13 lead with his third field goal of the game.

Josh Fatu knocked the ball out of Bowers' hand and Uchenna Nwosu recovered the fumble at the 3. Carr ran it in two plays later from the 2 to make it 23-13.

Ykili Ross then intercepted Bowers' pass on the next possession, setting up Darnold's 4-yard TD pass to Deontay Burnett that put away the game.

Bowers finished 22 for 50 for 303 yards with one touchdown, four interceptions and two lost fumbles.

THE TAKEAWAY

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: The Trojans struggled for much of the game without starting RB Ronald Jones (ankle) and WR Steven Mitchell (groin) but managed to pull away late in their first road game of the season.

CALIFORNIA: The Bears used an improved defense to start 3-0 under first-year coach Justin Wilcox but this was supposed to be the test of how far they had come. Cal showed plenty by sticking with a national title contender for three quarters. A sequence on the opening drive of the second will haunt the Bears. Patrick Laird dropped a potential TD in the end zone and Matt Anderson then missed a 29-yard field goal that kept the game tied at 13.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

A win against an unranked team should do little to alter USC's poll position.

UP NEXT

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Visits No. 18 Washington State on Friday.

CALIFORNIA: Visits No. 24 Oregon on Saturday.