Dec. 21, 2011
California (10-2) vs. UNLV (12-2)
Thomas and Mack Arena | Las Vegas, Nev.
Friday, Dec. 23 - 2 p.m. PT
Series Record: UNLV leads, 3-1
Last Meeting: Cal 73, UNLV 55 (Nov. 28, 2008 | Las Vegas)
Radio: KNEW 910AM (Todd McKim and John Wheeler)
TV/Web: CBS College Sports Network (Todd Harris and Steve Lappas)
Opponent Web: www.UNLVRebels.com
BERKELEY - The Golden Bears (10-2) hit the road for one more game before the inaugural Pac-12 season gets started. After completing the non-conference home schedule with a 9-0 record, Cal must head to Las Vegas to face No. 21 UNLV (12-2) in a Friday-afternoon matinee (2 p.m. PT) at the Thomas and Mack Center.
The last time the Bears visited the glitz and glitter of Sin City, they came away with a 73-55 victory on Nov. 28, 2008, over the Runnin' Rebels to notch head coach Mike Montgomery's fifth straight win to open his tenure in Berkeley. The win is Cal's only one in its four-game series history against UNLV. Previously, the Rebels had won a home-and-home series in 2003-04, and 2004-05, and claimed a 101-81 victory in 1989.
Both teams are on a Christmas-weekend collision course as the Rebels ride a three-game win streak and put it on the line against Cal's four-game streak. Cal's four straight wins matched the four it had to open the season, but the Bears can put an exclamation mark on the non-league schedule with a win against UNLV.
Sophomore G Allen Crabbe paces Cal in scoring with a 16.1 ppg average. Senior G Jorge Gutierrez (13.9 ppg) and sophomore G Justin Cobbs (12.0 ppg) also average double digits in points, but the Cal defense, and the Bears' rebounding prowess has kept them at the top of the Pac-12 standings.
Senior F Harper Kamp puts up 8.8 ppg and pulls down 5.5 rpg while freshman F David Kravish has turned heads with 6.6 ppg, and 6.9 rpg. Sophomore F Richard Solomon is one of the top rebounders in the conference with a 6.9 rpg average, and adds 6.6 points per contest for the Bears.
GAME RECAP (UC SANTA BARBARA): The Golden Bears remained undefeated in home games (9-0) on a 20-point win, 70-50, over UC Santa Barbara. Despite being without senior G Jorge Gutierrez who was out due to an illness, Cal played tough defense and forced the Gauchos into 13 turnovers with 40-percent shooting. Most importantly, the Bears smothered UCSB senior G Orlando Johnson thanks to some spectacular play by sophomore G Justin Cobbs to hold the nation's third-leading scorer (22.4 ppg entering the game) to nine points on 4-of-13 field goals. Cobbs got it done on both ends of the court as he posted a new career high with 25 points on 10-for-12 shooting including a perfect 3-for-3 from beyond the three-point arc. Sophomore G Allen Crabbe made five three-pointers for the second time, this season, and finished with 19 points and six rebounds. Senior F Harper Kamp had eight points and five boards, and freshman F David Kravish put up seven points to go with nine rebounds. The Bears led by as many as 26 points, in the game, and out-rebounded their opponent for the 11th time, this season. Junior G Brandon Smith added eight points and a season-high seven assists as the Bears cruised to their fourth straight victory. For the Gauchos, James Nunnally had game-high honors with 10 points and six rebounds.
A LITTLE HOME COOKIN': The Bears' have enjoyed repeated success at Haas Pavilion, this season, where they are 9-0. Cal is 29-3 in non-conference home games under head coach Mike Montgomery. Last year, the Bears completed the 12th season in Haas Pavilion since its 1999 renovation. Since Haas officially re-opened, Cal is 169-58 in home games on Pete Newell Court. In 2009-10, the Bears won all but one game at home. This year, Cal is outscoring opponents by 23.8 points in home games and grabbing 10.9 more rebounds than visitors to Haas Pavilion. The Bears also hold a considerable edge in shooting percentage with a .509 mark against the visitors' .361 percentage.