The second day of the Pac-10 Tournament is underway at Staples Center in Los Angeles as USC and Cal duke it out on the hardwood. As expected, it’s been a close game through the first half, with scoring at a premium as defense has dominated the first 20 minutes. Cal jumped out to an early lead, but USC reeled the Bears in down the stretch, taking a 35-27 lead into the half after a late run triggered by strong defense.
Shooting numbers were down for both teams as the Bears 37.9 shot percent and the Trojans shot 39.3 percent. USC was able to find its way to the free throw line, but had trouble converting there, hitting just seven of 11, a 63.6 percent clip.
Pac-10 freshman of the year Allen Crabb led the way for the Bears with eight points. Markhuri Sanders-Frison was an animal on the boards, grabbing a team-high seven rebounds. Brandon Smith had six points and Richard Solomon added five off the bench. Cal is dealing with plenty of foul trouble, though, as Jorge Gutierrez has three, Harper Kamp has two and Sanders-Frison has two, as well.
Nikola Vucevic had a slow first half for the Trojans as Harper Kamp blanketed him in the low post. Vucevic finished with just one point, on 0-3 shooting, before taking a seat with foul trouble, leaving the Trojans shot-handed in the post. Donte Smith had nine first half points, Jio Fontan added eight and Marcus Simmons chipped in seven. Fontan and Simmons were tenacious on the perimeter, harassing the Cal guards throughout the half.
The winner moves on to face the winner of the next matchup at Staples Center, either Arizona or Oregon State in the semifinals on Saturday evening.
For more on the tournament, including the latest news and bracket updates, check out the rest of our 2011 Pac-10 tournament StoryStream.