Jabari Bird scored 20 points and converted a key three-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., who had 25 points, and hit 5 of 6 from 3-point range to keep Oregon State (5-27) in the game until late.
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. Rabb finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds after scoring two on 1-of-7 shooting in the first half.
The Beavers pulled within 59-57, but Bird was fouled on a layup and hit the free throw to put Cal up five.
The Bears came into the game knowing they couldn't afford a letdown against the 12th-seeded Beavers to maintain any hope of reaching the NCAA Tournament.
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services