Dec. 11, 2010
The California men's basketball continues its five-game homestand this weekend against Southern Mississippi. The Golden Bears and the Golden Eagles will meet Sunday, Dec. 12, at 2 p.m. at Haas Pavilion.
Cal (5-3) fell to No. 14 San Diego State in the first game of the homestand last Wednesday. The loss to the Aztecs snapped the Bears' 22-game home winning streak against nonconference opponents. Junior guard Jorge Gutierrez came up one point shy of tying his career high with 19 on the night, including shooting 9-for-9 from the free throw line. As a team, the Bears were 12-foir-16 from the charity stripe. Senior center Markhuri Sanders-Frison set a new personal best on the boards with 12. Cal outrebounded San Diego State, 36-26, the sixth time in eight games the Bears have won the battle on the boards. In addition, the Bears are sporting a rebounding margin of +5.1 that ranks fourth in the conference.
The majority of the Bears' scoring against the Aztecs came from Gutierrez and junior forward Harper Kamp. Gutierrez and Kamp combined for 37 of Cal's 57 points (Gutierrez 19, Kamp 18). On the season, Gutierrez and Kamp have both been solid at the free throw line. Gutierrez is 40-for-48 from the line and Kamp is 27-for-30, good for a percentage of 90.0 that ranks first in the Pac-10.
A team that will pride itself on its defense all year, the Bears' defense is holding opposing offenses to shoot just over 40 percent from the field (40.6). Cal boasts 52 steals on the campaign, led by Gutierrez's 12.
Boasting a 3-1 record in Haas Pavilion thus far this year, Cal has won 41 of its last 44 nonconference home games. Cal went 15-1 for the entire 2009-10 season at Haas Pavilion, with the lone defeat coming in overtime against UCLA. In 2008-09, the Bears were 9-0 in Berkeley against teams outside the Pac-10. In his first three years as head coach at Cal, Mike Montgomery currently boasts a record of 34-4 on the home court.
With the win over UC Davis on Dec. 1, Montgomery reached 50 wins at Cal in 74 games -- faster than any coach at Cal since Nibs Price won 50 of his first 60 games from 1924-25 through the start of the 1928-29 season. He is also two wins away from his 600th career collegiate head coaching victory. His 598 career wins currently ranks sixth among active Division I NCAA head coaches.