Dec. 31, 2011
BERKELEY (AP) - California coach Mike Montgomery enjoyed watching his playmaking backcourt account for a remarkable 22 assists Saturday.
"It was fun to watch," Montgomery said.
Allen Crabbe scored 20 points with four 3-pointers to lead six players in double figures, and the Golden Bears beat UCLA 85-69 to pull off their first home sweep of the Los Angeles schools in eight years and stay undefeated at home.
Jorge Gutierrez had 16 points and eight assists, freshman David Kravish scored a career-best 13 points and Justin Cobbs added 13 points and a career-high eight assists as Cal shot a season-high 65 percent from the field. Crabbe, who added six assists and five rebounds, had five points during a decisive run to start the second half as the Bears (12-3, 2-0 Pac-12) pulled away.
Cal's 28 total assists--on 34 baskets--were its most since getting 30 against Long Beach State on Dec. 28, 2007.
"Twenty-eight assists on 34 baskets, my goodness, I don't know if I've seen that," Montgomery said. "Gosh, we shot 65 percent. It was based on we passed the ball and got good shots."
Tyler Lamb scored a career-high 26 points and David Wear added a career-best 17 points and seven rebounds for the Bruins (7-7, 0-2), who couldn't keep up once Cal got on a roll. It was the Bruins' most lopsided defeat in the series since a 92-63 loss on Feb. 1, 2001, in Berkeley. UCLA is 0-2 in conference play for the first time since dropping its first three in 1987-88 before finishing 16-14.
The Bears earned their second straight home win against UCLA, which before last season's 76-72 overtime defeat hadn't lost in Berkeley since 2003-04. That was also the last season that Cal, which held off Southern California 53-49 on Thursday night after leading by 16 in the second half, swept the L.A. schools in the Bay Area.
"They made shots, they made big plays, and if you don't respond to that you can get rolled over a little bit," UCLA's Lazeric Jones said.
The Bears improved to 11-0 in Haas Pavilion, where New Orleans Hornets general manager Dell Demps was among the scouts in attendance ahead of his team's game Sunday at Sacramento. Cal is off to its best start in Berkeley since beginning 12-0 in 2002-03.
Lamb scored 16 of his points in the first half for a Bruins team trying to bounce back after losing a last-second 60-59 heartbreaker Thursday night at Stanford. In that one, Josh Huestis blocked the potential go-ahead jumper by Jones with 3 seconds left.
Cal, which has won four of its last six meetings with UCLA, made five of its first eight shots to open the second half and used a 12-2 spurt to turn the game into a rout. The Bears had only one second-half turnover against 16 assists on 19 baskets.
"Our main thing was to get stops and get on the break," Cobbs said. "As far as that second half, we really played well. That might be the best half we've played as far as executing our offense and getting stops."
Montgomery called for his team to improve its rebounding after being outrebounded 38-28 against USC on Thursday and giving up 18 on the offensive glass, and Cal held a 24-22 edge over UCLA on the boards.
Kravish, a lanky 6-foot-9 forward who weighs 210 pounds, drew the tough chore of guarding Bruins big man Joshua Smith--who has at least 100 pounds on Cal's freshman.
"Just a couple (pounds difference)," Kravish said with a grin. "The last couple days I've been really guarding hard. They didn't want me to wrestle with him, obviously."
Montgomery said that before the game, "I almost apologized to Kravish for putting him on Smith. The kid is unfazed."
Robert Thurman came off the bench to score 11 points on 5-of-5 shooting as the Bears earned their first 2-0 conference start since Montgomery's first season, 2008-09. UCLA hadn't allowed more than 63 points in its previous five games, but Cal easily topped that mark.
"They just continued to score time after time. They just scored too easily today," UCLA coach Ben Howland said.
Wear was whistled for his third foul with 13:11 to play. Cobbs' basket moments later gave Cal its biggest lead to that point, 57-45--and the Bears just built on that.
Cal got a scare when Gutierrez limped to the bench at the 10:25 mark of the first half after having his right foot stepped on by 6-foot-10, 305-pound Josh Smith. But he wasn't out long.
Lamb scored six straight points for UCLA during one first-half stretch that turned a 24-19 deficit into a 25-24 Bruins lead. But Kravish responded with eight in a row for the Bears.
UCLA knocked down its first four 3-pointers and 5 of 7 total in the first half, including three by Lamb. Gutierrez scored eight straight points late in the half for Cal, which led 40-39 at the break.
The Bears hit 13 of their first 18 field-goal tries and shot 68 percent (15 for 22) from the field for their best half of the season, topping their 67 percent in the second half of a 77-57 win over Weber State on Dec. 16.
Cal forward Richard Solomon missed his fourth straight game with a stress reaction in his left foot.