LAS VEGAS (AP) — Jabari Bird scored 20 points and converted a key 3-point play with 54 seconds left, helping California grind out a 67-62 victory over Oregon State Wednesday in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament.
Cal (20-11) labored for most of the game offensively and had a hard time containing Oregon State’s Stephen Thompson Jr. The fifth-seeded Bears pulled it out behind Bird and a strong second half by Ivan Rabb, earning a spot in Thursday’s quarterfinals against fourth-seeded Utah. The Bears lost by 30 to the Utes last Thursday in Salt Lake City.
Rabb finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds after scoring two on 1-of-7 shooting in the first half.
Thompson had 25 points and hit 5 of 6 from 3-point range to keep Oregon State (5-27) in the game until late. The Beavers pulled within 59-57, but Bird was fouled on a layup and hit the free throw to put Cal up five.
The victory is only Cal’s second in their last seven games, but does give them 20 wins for the season.
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