Dec. 19, 2012
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) - California guard Tyrone Wallace knows opponents are comfortable letting him shoot from the outside, even though he has played just 10 games in college.
That scouting report might have to change a bit now.
Making his first start of the season, Wallace had 10 points and 10 rebounds and the Golden Bears held off a late run to beat UC Santa Barbara 68-59 on Tuesday night.
"I've always been pretty comfortable taking shots inside the paint, so I've just been trying to work on my consistency from the outside," said Wallace, who did all of his scoring in the second half. "A lot of it is just confidence. I know what I can do."
Wallace came off the bench the first nine games of the season but has had his minutes increase in recent games as Cal coach Mike Montgomery seeks a third scoring option behind Allen Crabbe and Justin Cobbs.
That duo, which led the Bears in scoring in their first nine games, combined for 20 points against Santa Barbara while taking a back seat to Wallace and Robert Thurman.
Thurman, a walk-on two years ago, scored a season-high 14 points for the Golden Bears (7-3), who snapped a three-game losing streak. Crabbe added 12 points while David Kravish had 10.
"With Allen and Justin, teams are putting so much concentration on them to stop them," Thurman said. "That opens up for guys like me and Ty to get extra points because we aren't the focal point that teams create their defenses around."
Cal never trailed and led by 22 midway through the second half before Santa Barbara (4-6) made a late push to pull within 68-59 with 15.8 seconds left. The Gauchos managed only one shot after that.
Kyle Boswell had 12 points for Santa Barbara.
The Bears, coming off back-to-back home losses to No. 21 UNLV and No. 17 Creighton, had no trouble with the smaller Gauchos but did most of the damage with two of their lesser-known players.
Wallace, who went into the game averaging only 6.2 points, struggled with his shot most of the night but scored all 10 of his points after halftime when Cal built a 58-36 lead. The 6-foot-4 guard also had 10 rebounds for the second consecutive game.
"He's the one guy who was reacting to the ball in terms of going to get rebounds," Montgomery said of his speedy freshman. "There was no magic. That was something that we wanted to take a look at."
Thurman, a backup center who had reached double figures in points only once previously this season, had 10 points in the first half, all on second-chance opportunities. He finished 7 for 11 from the floor while helping the Bears outscore the Gauchos 40-16 in the paint.
Thurman also helped hold Santa Barbara leading scorer Alan Williams to a season-low eight points on 4-of-18 shooting.
"That big kid (Thurman) is a load," Gauchos coach Bob Williams said. "He's more athletic off his feet than I thought he was. He just flat played above us."
The Gauchos couldn't keep up despite matching their season high of 13 3-pointers and fell to 1-5 on the road. Santa Barbara has reached double digits in 3s in its last five games.
Cal remained unbeaten in nine games against Santa Barbara in a series dating to 1948.
Thurman had eight points as part of a 12-5 run late in the first half when Cal pulled away. Crabbe, coming off a 6-for-26 performance in a 74-64 loss to Creighton, added four during the burst to help the Bears take a 32-22 halftime lead. The 22 points are the fewest allowed in a half by Cal this season.
It could have been worse.
The Gauchos scored their first 12 points on 3-pointers and had six 3s before the break, but went just 2 for 12 inside the arc. Cal extended its lead to 22 midway through the second half before Santa Barbara cut the gap to 67-55 on Brown's third 3-pointer with 2:15 left. Nate Garth later added a free throw and a 3-pointer before the Gauchos ran out of time.