EUGENE, Ore. -- Allen Crabbe won the battle against the passive side of his basketball personality on Sunday, and Cal rode that aggressiveness to a 77-60 victory over Oregon at Matthew Knight Arena.
Critical of himself three nights earlier after a loss at Oregon State, Crabbe came alive to score 23 of his season-high 26 points in the second half as the Bears (13-4, 3-1) raced away from the Ducks and moved into a three-way tie for second place in the Pac-12 Conference.
"I just feel like I'm not being aggressive enough," Crabbe said. "It's one of my gifts that I can shoot the ball really well. I just feel like if I can get them up and I'm going that night I can help my team."
The 6-foot-6 sophomore guard scored 14 points -- including four 3-pointers -- in a span of barely 3 minutes midway through the second half, and the Bears stretched a 42-38 lead to 60-41.
Cal coach Mike Montgomery called it the best half Crabbe has played.
"He took some shots that he typically would not take, where there's a guy there and he just jumped up and took it," Montgomery said. "So he obviously felt pretty good about his stroke."
Senior guard Jorge Gutierrez carried the Bears early and finished with 18 points, six rebounds and four assists. Point guard Justin Cobbs came on late and added 15 points and six assists as Cal beat Oregon for the eighth consecutive time.
Sophomore forward Richard Solomon, in his second game back after missing
Montgomery was equally pleased with the rest of his bench, which contributed 12 points and 11 rebounds in the first half and helped fend off Oregon's early physical play. "That's what makes a team," Montgomery said.
Cal effectively defended the Ducks (11-5, 2-2) all game, limiting them to 38 percent shooting with 14 turnovers. But the Bears trailed 33-32 early in the second half when they found their offensive rhythm.
The Bears outscored Oregon 28-8 over the next 8 minutes.
Crabbe was in the middle of lots of it after scoring just three points in the first half. "I've got to find that killer instinct inside of me," said Crabbe, who shot 6 for 8 from the 3-point line and grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds.
"If you're standing, you're an easy target. Once he started moving he's a little bit more difficult to locate," Montgomery said. "And once he made a couple, the basket looked like a barrel to him."
Oregon coach Dana Altman said his team could not contain the Bears' three perimeter players, or Crabbe in particular.
"Crabbe got it going -- he just made that four- or five-point game a double-digit game pretty quickly," Altman said.
The game was a relief for Solomon, who missed six of the Bears' first 15 games because of injury or suspension.
"This has been a crazy season," Solomon said. "Everybody always says I have a lot of potential. At some point in time you've just got to grow up.
"There's no more ifs, there's no more excuses. It's just go out there and be a man and do what you're capable of doing on and off the court."