After a brutal 59-point loss at the hands of No. 11 Oregon, Cal sits at 0-10 on the season. Like all games, though, there are still some positive things that the Bears can look back on.
The home team showed that it was capable of competing with one of the best teams in the nation, albeit in fragments. The Bears started and ended the game strong, only being outscored by 11 points in the opening frame and seven points in the last.
In each of these quarters, the blue and gold shot a respectable 6-13 from the field, pumping out a total 29 points. Further, Cal only had one less block than Oregon throughout the game, which is surprising considering the margin of defeat.
The Bears can also find silver linings in the strong performances turned in by underclassmen Ugonne Onyiah and Evelien Lutje Schipholt. The duo combined for 23 points, 13 rebounds, four blocks and three assists against a staunch Ducks defense. Perhaps most impressively, Onyiah and Schipholt were a combined 10-15 from the field.
Similar to many of its games this season, Cal coughed up the ball way too many times to stand a chance against Oregon. The Ducks pressured the Bears into 23 turnovers, while the home team could only force its opponent to turn the ball over five times.
Furthermore, Oregon shot an absurd 52.5%, and hoisted up 25 more shots than Cal. To put the Ducks’ numbers into context, the Bears shot 16-55 from the field, which is good for 29.1%.
A staple of Oregon’s offense is its effectiveness in fast-break opportunities, and the Ducks continued to show this same prowess today against the Bears. Oregon scored 29 points off of turnovers and had 20 fast-break points.
The Ducks also showed off their impressive ball movement: They had 26 assists on the day, and all but one of their players scored. Moreover, they had six players in double figures tonight.
Cal is missing many of its primary ballhandlers this season due to injury, which explains the low assist numbers. Injuries are something that really can’t be controlled, but one thing that the blue and gold can control and must improve on is their free throw shooting.
The Bears shot 8-15 from the free-throw line today, coming out to 53.3%. While making all of their free throws wouldn’t have changed the outcome of the game, especially in blowouts, this is an element of the game that the blue and gold should focus on growing in.
Catch Cal’s faceoff against the Colorado Buffaloes this Friday at 2:30 p.m.
Justin Kim covers women’s basketball. Contact him at email@example.com.