CORVALLIS, Ore. -- In a conference without a dominant team, the home court rules. Cal was the latest Pac-12 team to learn that lesson, falling 92-85 at Oregon State.
The home team was 9-1 the first weekend of Pac-12 play, and that trend continued Thursday in Eugene, Boulder, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles ... and Corvallis.
"It's always hard to win on the road," senior guard Jorge Gutierrez said. "We have to be the aggressor, and we've got to play better defense."
The Bears (12-4, 2-1 Pac-12) couldn't handle OSU's pressure defense or uncharacteristic 3-point shooting prowess. The Beavers (11-4, 1-2), swept in Washington a week ago, shot 76.2 percent in the second half, including 6 of 7 from 3-point range.
Cal, down 77-61 with 6:42 left, scored 12 straight points in a span of 97 seconds -- a run that included two 3-pointers by Allen Crabbe and a four-point play by Gutierrez. But 77-73 was as close as Cal got.
"We got to four with the ball and a real chance. Then we turned it over," Cal coach Mike Montgomery said. "We needed to play (all night) with that kind of aggressiveness, and we were unable to do that."
The Bears, 11-0 at Haas Pavilion this season, fell to 1-4 outside Berkeley.
They had company among road losers, with Pac-12 home teams going 5-1 on Thursday.
"It points up how hard it is to win on the road in this league and it always has been," said Montgomery, in his 22nd season as a head coach in the conference.
Gutierrez scored 26 points, becoming the 40th Cal player to top 1,000 for a career. Justin Cobbs added 18 points and Crabbe 16.
Crabbe shouldered some of the responsibility for the defeat.
"I was not aggressive enough in the second half," he said. "I found myself not even attempting a shot for some minutes in the second half. Just got to keep that in my mind the whole 40."
The Beavers' Ahmad Starks made five 3-pointers and scored a career-high 24 points, matching teammate Jared Cunningham, a San Leandro High graduate. Cunningham did much of his damage attacking off the dribble.
"It means a lot to me," Cunningham said of beating Cal. "Anytime you play against a school close to your home, you want to show them what you can do."
Gutierrez, Cobbs and Harper Kamp battled foul problems in the second half, and Cunningham shot 10 for 12 from the foul line.
"He's a really good player," Gutierrez said of the Pac-12's leading scorer this season. "He's hard to defend."
Cal's Brandon Smith took a hard fall in the final minute and was being checked for a possible concussion.