After humiliating UCLA on their home court 72-58, Cal returns home to take on Washington.
By now we can tell that Washington is not quite the team they are on the road, as they are at home. Washington has a win-less record on the road this season giving up and average of 80.6 points a game. "At this point, it's irrelevant because they're not at home, they're at our place, so we've just got to beat them here," said Coach Mike Montgomery. "Their crowd is a good as any crowd in the league. They get a lot of energy from their crowd and hopefully we can get that same thing from our crowd."
After taking sole possession of first place in the Pac-10 their aiming for some cushion by knocking off Washington in a Pac-10 showdown. The last time these two teams met Cal was throttled by the physical defense of Washington.
"They're very physical, and they attacked the glass, as evidenced by 20 offensive rebounds," said Mike Montgomery "they were way more physical than we were, they were energized and we got back on our heels, which is something that they do to people and they've done before. It makes it very difficult."
Patrick Christopher and D.J. Seeley were the only players in double-figures for Cal, but Christopher was the one who carried the load.
Patrick Christopher finished the game with 28 points, 8 rebounds, 4 steals, and 2 assist; all game-highs for Cal. If Patrick can give Cal another performance like this with the addition of a similar performance from James Randle, they're going to be a tough team to handle.
In order to win this game, the Cal Golden Bears must be physical on the defensive glass. "They are a very good offensive rebounding team, and they go to the glass hard," said Coach Montgomery. In the first meeting Cal surrendered offensive rebound after rebound, resulting in a ton of second chance points.
Containing the duo of Pondexter and Thomas is a must for the Golden Bears. "Well Isaiah's very, very quick, and he's very offensive minded," said Montgomery on Washington's guard Isaiah Thomas. In Washington's most recent loss, the duo chipped in for 16 points combined on 4 of 20 shooting. However Cal knows that is not going to be an easy task at hand. "They're athletic, they're long, they've got depth and that's going to be a challenge for us," said Montgomery; a challenge in which they failed the first time around.
The key stat in the first loss may be the 21 turnovers but in my opinion you cannot shoot 64 percent in a conference road game and expect to win. From the line Cal was 32-50, missing 18 free-throws.
However after going (2-2) in their 4-game road trip Cal returns home for the first time since beating Oregon State 65-61. When allowing 70+ points at home the Golden Bears are (1-2); definitely a stat to watch.
Forward Omondi Amoke is coming off the bench once again this week. "Well, it just gives us another ball-handler out there," said Montgomery "It really don't make a difference, once you get the feel for how it's going and what your best combo is you'll probably stay with that longer."
This is a much needed for both teams. Whoever wins this game will be the number one team in the Pac-10 for the time being. Look for Cal to get it done on the road as Washington's road woes continue.
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