Cal Forward: We’re Hard To Defend When We Shoot Well

After losing at Oregon by just three points on Jan. 6, the Cal Golden Bears knew they had a chance to beat the No. 11 Ducks in Berkeley on Thursday.

They were right.

The Golden Bears never trailed, led by as many as 25 and won 83-63 to notch their third win over a ranked team this season. Oregon had no answer for Cal forward Jabari Bird, who hit five threes and finished with a game-high 24 points to go along with six rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block.

“I just try to go out there and be aggressive and make plays,” Bird said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “My teammates made it easy for me tonight. They got into the lane, I just hit spot-up threes, and that’s my job for this team – to make open shots.”

Bird was one of four Golden Bears to finish in double figures. Forwards Jaylen Brown and Ivan Rabb scored 16 and 13 points, respectively, while guard Tyrone Wallace added 10 points off the bench. Cal shot 55.7 percent from the floor and 56.3 percent from three-point range.

“It’s hard to defend when we shoot that well from the floor,” Bird said. “Hopefully we keep it going for the rest of the season.”

Junior guard Sam Singer had a game-high 11 assists for Cal, while Rabb had seven rebounds and a game-high three blocks.

“Rabb, he was great tonight,” Bird said. “He does what he does every night. He’s always active on the glass and protects the rim for us. He’s improving every night.”

Cal (16-8, 6-5), which has won four of its last six games, is 3-1 against ranked teams this season. The Bears have beaten then-No. 21 Utah, then-No. 12 Arizona and now Oregon. Their one loss to a ranked team came by one point in overtime at then-No. 5 Virginia in December.

Cal’s win over Oregon was its best of the season – so far.

“Oregon’s a tough team to beat,” Bird said. “They’re the best team in conference for a reason. For them to come into our house and we play the way we did, that’s just really big for our confidence. We just need to continue to build on this game. I think the main thing for us is to tighten up the screws on the road. I think at home we’ve been pretty good. We haven’t lost yet. But the main thing for us is to get better on the road and improve our focus. Once we get that figured out, we’ll be fine.”

Cal hosts Oregon State (15-8, 6-6) this Saturday at 6:30 p.m. ET. The Beavers have won three straight.

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