March 19, 2010
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Friday night was the first-ever meeting between California (24-10) and Louisville (20-13). The Bears are now 19-15 in the NCAA Tournament, while the Cardinals fell to 60-38.
The Golden Bears are now 11-5 all-time in first-round NCAA Tournament play.
Tonight was the Bears' first ever NCAA Tournament game in the state of Florida.
Head coach Mike Montgomery's career record coaching in NCAA Tournament play is now 17-13 and 1-1 in the first round at Cal. He boasts a career record of 11-3 in the first round.
The Bears were led in the scoring column by their trio of 1,000-point scorers - seniors Jerome Randle, Patrick Christopher and Theo Robertson - with 21 from Randle and Robertson, and 17 from Christopher. They combined for 59 points on 20-for-35 shooting, including all eight of the Bears' 3-point field goals.
Cal connected on 8-of-15 three-pointers against the Cardinals - the fifth game this season in which the Bears shot 50 percent or better from beyond the 3-point arc - they are 5-0 in those games this year and 17-1 in those games in two years under Montgomery.
Randle hit 2-of-5 three pointers, including a halftime buzzer beater just inside halfcourt, giving the all-time Cal leading scorer at total of 1,823 in his career. He also added two assists and five rebounds. Randle is now second in career assists with 523. He connected on his 250th career three-pointer, which is a school record. He also extended his single-season career record to 90. Randle sank his first six free throws to extend his school-record streak to 40 made in a row dating back to Feb. 11 before missing an attempt in the second half.
Cal is now 5-2 all-time vs. the Big East in the NCAA Tournament, and the Bears will make their first appearance in the second round since 2003.
Cal is now 21-0 when shooting 46 percent or better and 15-0 when shooting 50 percent or better.
With 24 wins on the season, Cal has recorded the most wins in a season since the 1959-60 NCAA runner-up won 28 games. That 1959-60 squad won Cal's last conference title before this year.
Jorge Gutierrez made his first postseason start when he took the floor tonight for tipoff against Louisville. It was the sophomore's 12th career start in 62 games played. The member of the Pac-10 All-Defensive Team blocked the first shot attempt of the game by the Cardinals and drew a charge on Louisville's third possession.
The Bears held Louisville scoreless for the first 4:17 of the game, during which they built a 12-0 lead, and held 18-point leads on two occasions in the first half. After seeing the Cardinals cut their deficit to within six, Cal led by nine at halftime and built its lead up to 15 during the second half. Louisville crept as close as within four with over seven minutes to play but a subsequent three-pointer by Theo Robertson gave the Bears more breathing room.
Christopher moved into third on Cal's career scoring list with 1,698 points. Robertson moved into 16th place on Cal's all-time scoring list ahead of Dave Butler (1983-87). He now has 1,305 points in his Cal career. This is his second straight 20-point outing in the NCAA Tournament going back to the Bears' first-round contest against Maryland last season.
Cal meets Duke in the second round on Sunday. Mike Montgomery has defeated Duke twice while at Stanford in 1999 and 2000. Cal and Duke have met once in NCAA Tournament play. 17 years ago tomorrow, March 20, 1993 the sixth-seeded Bears upset the two-time defending national champion Blue Devils, 82-77 in a showdown between Bobby Hurley and Jason Kidd. Kidd scored 11 and handed out 14 assists while Hurley, in his final game at Duke totaled 32 points and 9 assists against only 1 turnover.