Despite shooting 47 percent from the floor, No. 10 Oregon turned the ball over 22 times and lost a three-point halftime lead in its 58-54 loss to California Saturday at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, Calif.
Oregon’s E.J. Singler had a good look from three-point range to take the lead with 0:08 remaining, but the shot was off the mark. Cal grabbed the rebound and two free throws from Cal guard Justin Cobbs made it a two-possession game, putting it out of reach.
The Ducks now fall to 1-2 as starting freshman point guard and leading assist man Dominic Artis sits with a foot injury, having missed a win over Washington and losses in the Bay Area to Stanford and now Cal.
Without Artis directing the offense, back-up Johnathan Loyd struggled. Despite his seven assists, he turned the ball over six times and was 3-of-7 from the floor. An Oregon team that typically averages 75 points per game was held to just 54, one game after posting 52 points in that loss to Stanford.
For Cal, the win gives coach Mike Montgomery and the Bears their first signature win of the Pac-12 season and their first win over a ranked team.
The scoring duo of Allen Crabbe, the Pac-12’s leading scorer, and Cobbs combined for just 21 points, but the Bears were able to get contributions from elsewhere to fill in the gaps offensively. Forward Richard Solomon had a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds, while Tyrone Wallace added 12 points and three steals.
Oregon is now just half a game (for the time being) over Arizona State, who plays Saturday at 9 p.m. ET against Washington, and No. 8 Arizona, who tips Saturday at 10 p.m. ET against Washington State.
Zak Irvin scored 22 points and Michigan’s outmanned front line held Purdue’s redwoods to just seven offensive boards, six second chance points and just 22 points in the paint as the Wolverines landed a critical, 61-56, win over the No. 18 Boilermakers.
Depending on who you listen to, Michigan entered the day, at worst, on the bubble and at best, in headed for the 8-9 game.
And they picked up a top 25 win.
So yes, this win was big for them moving forward.
But more important than the win itself was that Wolverine fans got a glimpse of all-american guard Caris LeVert. He played just 11 points and didn’t return in the second half, he didn’t score and he missed the only shot that he took, but LeVert took the court for the first time since Dec. 30th. That day, LeVert rolled his left ankle and most likely reinjured a foot that had had a broken bone surgically repaired twice in the last 20 months. Michigan never confirmed what the actual injury was and never gave a timetable for when he would be back in the lineup, which is what made his brief appearance so important.
LeVert isn’t done for the season.
And since the Wolverines managed to post a 9-4 Big Ten record with LeVert acting as little more than a spectator, they have a chance to make a run in the Big Ten tournament and get into the NCAA tournament.
That will happen with LeVert in the rotation and, if all goes according to plan, the starting lineup.
So even with a loss against Purdue, the Wolverines had a good day. Bolstering their NCAA tournament profile was an added bonus.
VIDEO: Memphis’ Shaq Goodwin gets technical foul for copying famous Vince Carter dunk
Memphis senior forward Shaq Goodwin picked up one of the dumbest technical fouls of the season on Saturday with the Tigers on the road against Tulane. Goodwin attempted to copy Vince Carter’s famous arm-in-the-rim dunk from the 2000 NBA dunk contest. This would have been okay during pregame warmups, but Goodwin tried to pull this off on a breakaway near the end of the first half. He was quickly hit with the T for hanging on the rim.
Goodwin has good timing when it comes to current events, as the NBA’s dunk contest airs on Saturday night, but the timing of pulling this off in the first half of a tight conference game is not so great.
For past reference, here’s Carter’s original arm-in-the-rim dunk from 2000, which had everyone astonished since it had never been done before.