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Roundup: Race for first place heating up

Feb 11, 2013

I'm so glad the first six weeks cleared things up in the Pac-12 men's basketball race, you know, with eight teams being within two games of each other for the top spot. You can partly thank Allen Crabbe for the mess at the top of the ladder, as Crabbe's 31 points helped propel Cal to a 77-69 upset of No. 7 Arizona at McKale Center yesterday. That win capped a week of college basketball upsets - six times this week, a top-10 team lost to an unranked squad. Oh, college basketball.

Arizona is now tied for first at 8-3 alongside UCLA and Oregon, but last night, Cal's zone stymied the 'Cats. Arizona came out cold to start the second half after having a 38-33 lead at the break. It also didn't help Arizona's cause that it let Cal shoot 58.8 percent from the floor.  

Cal wasn't the only team to get a much-needed split in the desert - Stanford accomplished that feat by holding off Arizona State down the stretch for a 62-59 victory. Credit another hot shooting performance for Stanford, as the Card were 10-18 from downtown as a team. Johnny Dawkins also got double-doubles from Dwight Powell and Josh Huestis.  

Forget splits, how about road sweeps?! Thanks to Spencer Dinwiddie's perfect game from the floor (6-6 FG, 4-4 3FG, 8-8 FT) that led to a 72-68 victory over Oregon State, the Buffs accomplished a rare feat: It was the first time in nearly 60 years that Colorado won at Oregon and Oregon State. On the women's side, Rachel Hargis made an unexpected contribution for the Buffs by scoring 10 points in Colorado's 84-59 victory over Oregon. Linda Lappe's squad now sits all alone in fifth place in the Pac-12 women's basketball standings.

Headline of the weekend goes to the Register Guard for this: Ducks do a Ute turn to break losing streak. As you might be able to surmise from that hed, Oregon stormed back in the second half to knock off Utah and snap its three-game skid after falling behind by eight at the intermission. The Ducks are also hoping for good news this week about Dominic Artis, as the freshman point guard might be able to return from his injury. The Ducks have been a much better team with him in the lineup.

Saturday night, the Bruins found an easy target versus Washington State - UCLA shot 62 percent from the floor en route to a 76-62 win. Bill Walton made internet headlines everywhere a few days back for his choice words regarding UCLA men's basketball and its leadership, but Ben Howland is taking Walton's criticism in stride.  

It hasn't been the type of season Craig Robinson was hoping for, but I'll say this (or more accurately, the Gazette Times will): Joe Burton is creating a buzz with the Beavers. In softball news, Lea Cavestany's walk-off home run lifted the Beavers to a 1-0 victory over San Jose State Sunday. There were two outs when Cavestany went deep, and Oregon State went 3-3 at the Kajikawa/ASU Classic.

Speaking of which, the Sun Devils went 7-0 at the Kajikawa Classic, a pre-conference season event they capped off by beating Boise State 10-0 in six innings. Pitcher Dallas Escobedo had a perfect game going through five innings before she was replaced, but her reliever was able to keep the no-hitter intact (not the perfect game, though).  

June Daugherty's Cougars were one of the hottest teams in the Pac-12, but No. 17 UCLA pulled away late from Wazzu yesterday after shooting - get this - 85 percent in the second half. The hot-shooting Crusading Closes denied Washington State of its fifth straight victory.  

The Red Rocks were at it again this weekend, and Tory Wilson earned a perfect 10 on the vault in Utah's win over No. 23 Cal in front of more than 14,000 fans. It was the first perfect score for a Red Rock since 2008, when Ashley Postell did it twice (vault and balance beam). I'd love to say I looked that last tidbit of info up, but I just read the article. Wilson's vault made SportsCenter's top plays.

In track news, did you know that Husky Jeremy Taiwo set a world record in the heptathlon high jump? The 2011 Pac-12 Decathlon Champion and three-time All-American cleared 7-feet, 4.50-inches at the Boise State Team Classic this weekend. Props.