Nov. 19, 2010
California (1-0, 0-0) vs. New Mexico (2-0,0-0)
Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010
Radio: KNEW 910
After surviving a rocky first half, the California men's basketball team got a solid second half out of its three veteran starters and defeated Cal State Northridge in the season opener last Tuesday. The Golden Bears hope to ride that momentum when they face New Mexico on Saturday, Nov. 20, at 7 p.m. at Haas Pavilion.
While the freshmen showed signs of their youth against CSUN, senior Markhuri Sanders-Frison and juniors Jorge Gutierrez and Harper Kamp pulled through for Cal. Sanders-Frison posted his first career double-double (15 points, 10 rebounds), while Gutierrez paced the Bears with 18 points and eight assists, both of which were new career highs. Kamp produced 12 points and seven rebounds in his first official game since the 2008-09 campaign.
The Bears will pride themselves on their defense this season, and Cal buckled down on the Matadors in the second half. For the game, the Bears forced 18 CSUN turnovers and collected eight steals.
A sign of how young this year's team is, Cal started a pair of freshmen against CSUN - Allen Crabbe and Gary Franklin. The last time the Bears had at least two freshmen in the opening-day starting lineup occurred on Nov. 18, 1999, when true freshmen Joe Shipp and Brian Weathers and redshirt freshman Donte Smith started against TCU in the Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks, Alaska. Cal won, 91-83.
In their Cal debuts, Crabbe finished with eight points and Franklin posted seven. Crabbe nailed two of his four three-point attempts, snagged four rebounds and also collected an assist and a block. Franklin shot 3-for-8 from the field and notched two assists and a steal. Fellow freshmen Richard Solomon and Emerson Murray also saw some action against the Matadors. Solomon grabbed four boards, made the only three-pointer he attempted and also secured an assist and a steal. Murray boasted 18 minutes of play with three rebounds, a basket and an assist to his credit. Along with guard Alex Rossi, these freshmen make up a class that was ranked No. 17 by Rivals.com and No. 24 by ESPN.
Cal has won 39 of its last 41 nonconference home games, including the last 20 in a row. In his first two years at the helm for the Bears, head coach Mike Montgomery has amassed a 32-3 record at Haas. The Bears went 15-1 at home a year ago, with the lone defeat coming in overtime against UCLA.