Cal clutch from charity stripe in win vs. Stanford

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Hours after Washington’s bubble might’ve burst, Cal avoided a similar stumble. Barely.

The No. 2 seed in the Pac-12 tournament trailed Stanford for most of Thursday’s quarterfinal before pulling away for a 77-71 win. The Bears (24-8) are still on the NCAA tournament bubble, but they’re feeling better about what Selection Sunday might hold. (Not to mention a little revenge following last week’s loss to their Bay Area rival.)

Jorge Gutierrez scored 22 points (19 in the second half), Harper Kamp added 17 as Cal closed with a 15-9 run that included a clutch 9 for 11 from the free-throw line. That had been the Huskies’ downfall earlier when they dropped an 86-84 contest vs. Oregon State.

That sets up Cal to play the Colorado-Oregon winner on Friday and continue boosting their NCAA tourney hopes. Without Washington in the field, its tallest obstacle to winning the automatic bid is out of the way.

But one more win might wrap up a spot anyway.

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