BERKELEY, Calif. - An NBA scout, one of about 10 on hand Thursday night at Haas Pavilion, was asked if his group was looking at anyone besides Klay Thompson.
The scout thought for a moment, then slowly shook his head. Down the road, the scout said, Allen Crabbe might be worthy.
Thompson and Crabbe, a pair of 6-foot-6 wings with silky-smooth jumpers, traded baskets like two prizefighters trading punches for more than two hours. Thompson finished with a season-high 36 points for Washington State, but the California Bears scored the knockout, riding Crabbe’s season-high 30 points to an 88-81 win in overtime.
Crabbe, the California prep player of the year last season, has drawn comparisons to a freshman Thompson, who is now a junior. Both played superbly in their first face-to-face meeting.
Never miss a local story.
Thompson sank 12 of 22 shots, including 5 of 10 3-pointers, and went 7-for-7 at the free-throw line. Crabbe hit 10 of 15 shots, including 4 of 6 treys, and buried 6 of 7 free throws.
“He (Crabbe) got hot,” WSU post DeAngelo Casto said. “Klay got hot. They couldn’t stop him, either.”
Thompson sent the game into overtime by knocking down a 26-foot jumper from directly in front of the basket with 13.2 seconds left in regulation. Thompson did not get a shot off in overtime, when Crabbe added his last four points.
“He can shoot,” Casto said of Crabbe. “He’s a good player. He proved that tonight.”
Thompson passed Brian Quinnett and Jim McKean to move into seventh place in scoring in WSU history. He came into the game ranked first in the Pac-10 and 11th in the nation with 22.3 points per game.
The Cougars (12-5, 1-3 Pac-10) trailed most of the game after California snapped an 11-11 tie with 10 unanswered points midway through the first half. Thompson scored 10 straight WSU points early in the first half to pull the Cougars within one, and after Cal expanded its lead, Thompson capped a rally with a 3-pointer that gave WSU a 71-70 lead with 3:50 left in the second half.
Casto had 11 points and 11 rebounds. Reggie Moore, with 10 points, was the only other Cougar who scored in double figures.
Cal’s 88 points and 51.7 percent shooting from the field were season highs for a WSU opponent.
Harper Kamp scored 18 points for the Bears, and Mark Sanders-Frison contributed 14 points and 10 boards.
California (9-7, 2-2) outrebounded Washington State 37-28 and outscored the Coguars 34-20 in the paint.
The Cougars visit Stanford (9-6, 3-1) at 5 p.m. Saturday. The game will not be televised.