Cobbs had 13 points for the Bears, who capitalized on a 14-10 rebounding advantage and were 6-for-6 from the foul line. The Utes only shot two — making both — in an opening half that featured seven ties and five lead changes.
Utah came out with a hot hand. The Utes connected on eight of their first nine shots from the field while building an 18-11 lead less than six minutes into the game. DuBois, who had a game-high 15 points in the half, fueled the outburst with back-to-back 3-pointers and a basket early on. Washburn, Dakarai Tucker and Loveridge also scored in the run.
Cal responded with a 7-0 burst to even things up less than three minutes later. Three lead changes followed before the Bears made four free throws in the final 1:46 to hold an edge at the intermission. They did so despite getting limited contributions from Crabbe, the Pac-12 Player of the Year. The conference scoring leader had just six points on 2-of-6 shooting in the first half.
However, when play resumed, Crabbe heated up and quickly scored five points to help the Bears during a run that extended their lead to 44-36. The Utes went scoreless for 6:44 before mounting a comeback that put them ahead at 50-48 with 6:46 to go. Another drought, lasting more than 4½ minutes, soon followed — allowing Cal to reclaim the lead. The Bears remained in front until DuBois evened the score with his late 3-point shot.
“We had to step up and make big plays. It was an emotional game for us because we haven’t made it this far as a group,” said senior Cedric Martin. “So we are just living off the moment right now. We are putting this game in the past and moving on.”
To the semifinals, that is.
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