With a great chance to go 8-2, Cal now sits at 6-4.
Runs happen in basketball, but 25-0?
That's not a matter of a few miscues and missed shots. Rather, it speaks volumes about both the team's focus and desire.
Point guard Jerome Randle said it best.
"I'm just disappointed in our team effort," Randle said. "I think we really need to dig down deep and do some self-evaluation checks and see if we really want this. By the way we're playing right now, it doesn't look like we want it. (We) just need to come together and figure something out before it slips away."
There are eight games left in conference play, but if Cal doesn't develop some mental resolve soon, Randle's words may prove to be prophetic.
Two games in a row the Bears have been unable to close out a team in the final minutes of the game. Instead of sitting at 8-2 with a comfortable two-game lead, Cal finds itself in a four-way tie for first place in the conference.
"Now it's going be very difficult," Montgomery said.
The problem is it didn't have to be this difficult. The Bears have a starting line-up comprised of four seniors -- all of which can fill up the stat sheet.
Yet on Thursday night, Randle was the only senior putting up a fight.
The point guard scored 17 of his 29 points in the second half and nearly single-handedly willed his team to a victory. The other three seniors scored 10 points combined in the final 28 minutes.
"Jerome just decided he didn't want to lose," Montgomery said. "He just started making plays. We need more guys to think like that."
After the jump you can relive the 25-0 fiasco or feel better by reading about how the Cal women won a hard-fought game against USC. There is also more on the recruiting class in case that will improve your spirits.
- Scout has an in-depth look at Cal's recruiting class as well as a look ahead to spring, the 2010 season, and the NFL for select players.
- Best comes in at no. 16 in Ted Miller's top-30 Pac-10 players for the 2009 season.
- Faraudo's live thread traces the flow of the game. Cal was doomed when it went 10 minutes without scoring while allowing USC to score 25 unanswered points. Randle brought the Bears back into the game, but like last week against Arizona, Cal couldn't take care of business in the final minute (like missing a game-tying free throw with 3 seconds left).
- CCtimes recaps the game. SFGate also recaps the game, which allowed four-way tie for first to emerge.
- During the post-game press conference Monty sounded very frustrated with his inconsistent, unpredictable team.
- Despite the loss, Cal only dropped two spots in the RPI rankings.
- Women's basketball held on for a 61-55 win over USC. At the post-game press conference Boyle praised her team's balance on offense and ability to close out the game in the final few minutes.