Jan. 14, 2010
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) -- Jerome Randle scored a career-high 39 points as California beat Washington State 93-88 on Thursday to retain first place in the Pac-10.
California (11-5, 3-1 Pac-10) jumped out to big leads at the beginning of each half, and then held off Washington State rallies to win for the fifth time in six games.
Washington State (12-5, 2-3) fell behind by 20 points in the first eight minutes, but came back to trail by only four at halftime. Hot shooting by Cal, including 11 of 20 3-pointers, kept the Cougars from taking the lead. The Bears opened the game on a 28-8 run led by three-pointers from Randle, Theo Robertson and Patrick Christopher. Jamal Boykin also had six points in that opening run.
With starter Markhuri Sanders-Frison unavailable to play due to a back injury, and a shortened bench without Jorge Gutierrez, the four senior leaders paved the way for Cal's third conference win in four games.
Robertson posted 11 of his 13 points in the first half, and Boykin notched 10 of his 16 in the opening half.
The Cougars were able to cut the lead to four at halftime behind 10 first-half points from Reggie Moore, who connected on two of the four three-pointers he took in the first half.
Similar to the first half, Cal jumped out of the gate quickly, increasing the lead to 10 points at the 16:29 mark.
Cal held leads of at least eight points until WSU cut the lead to seven with a minute and a half left in regulation. The Cougars couldn't get over the hill and take a late lead in the closing minutes of regulation because the Bears went 7-for-10 from the charity stripe in the final two minutes.
The Bears had zero free throw attempts in the first half, but made 20 of their 25 attempts all in the second half. Cal entered the game as the nation's 24th-best free throw shooting squad.
Randle's seven three-pointers was one shy of his personal high. He also became the second player in school history to record 200 three-pointers. He earned all nine of his assists in the first half.