Cal Basketball: Can Bears Avoid Unlucky Loss No. 13 vs. UCLA?

Darius McNeill scored 16 points against Oregon State last weekend, none of them in the second half.Photo by John Hefti, USA Today

Cal, which has dropped 12 straight games, lost 98-83 when it faced the Bruins in Los Angeles last month

CAL (5-18, 0-11 Pac-12) vs. UCLA (12-12, 5-6)

WHERE: Haas Pavilion, Berkeley

WHEN: Wednesday, 7 p.m.

TV/RADIO: Pac-12 Networks/810-AM

CAL-UCLA HISTORY: UCLA leads 140-103 and has won four in a row and seven of the past nine meetings. The Bruins won 98-83 when the teams met on the opening weekend of Pac-12 play in Los Angeles on Jan. 5.

CAL STORYLINES: Cal has lost its past 12 games — the longest drought in program history — since a win over San Jose State on Dec. 21. The Bears’ winless streak in Pac-12 games is now 18 consecutive games. … Cal allowed a season-high 98 points in its first meeting with the Bruins, who shot 53 percent from the field. Nine of the Bears’ first 11 conference opponents have converted at least 50 percent and Cal ranks last nationally in field-goal percentage defense at 50.8. The Bears are 331st out of 351 Division I teams in points allowed (79.2) and 338th in adjusted defensive efficiency (114.2 points per 100 possessions). … Darius McNeill, who scored a game-high 23 points in the first UCLA game, had 16 points by halftime on Saturday at Oregon State but was scoreless in the second half. … Freshman Connor Vanover tied his season high with 15 points against the Beavers and is averaging 14.0 points on 57-percent shooting the past three games. … Leading scorer Justice Sueing (14.9 ppg) is scoring at a 19.0 clip the past four games.

UCLA STORYLINES: The Bruins are coming off a stunning 93-92 home loss to Utah in which they blew a 22-point lead in the final 13 minutes and lost when Parker Van Dyke buried a contested 3-pointer at the final buzzer. … Under interim coach Murry Bartow, UCLA has lost six of eight since opening Pac-12 play with three victories. … Sophomore Kris Wilkes lead the Bruins in scoring (17.4), but is shooting just 38 percent from the field (15 percent on threes) during the team’s current three-game losing streak. … Freshman center Moses Brown (11.0 ppg, 8.4 rpg) did not play until the final minute against Utah, benched because he was late for a team function. He scored 16 points in the first Cal game. … UCLA’s biggest edge in this one figures to be rebounding. The Bruins are 34th nationally at plus-5.5, Cal is 346th at minus-7.0. … UCLA is second in the Pac-12 in scoring (78.1) despite shooting just 62.1 percent from the free throw line to rank 344th in Division I.

CAL GAME NOTES: Click here