Dec. 5, 2009
Craig Brackins led Iowa State (6-3) with 21 points, while Marquis Gilstrap had 17 points and 10 rebounds.
"It's a great bounce-back win for us," said Christopher, whose team was coming off a road loss to New Mexico. "Tonight, it was good to get in here and kind of get our swagger back."
The two teams met as part of the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series, which is in its third year.
Iowa State cut Cal's lead to 47-42 with 15:05 left on Brackins' slam, but the Bears went on a 10-0 run, building a commanding 57-42 edge.
Christopher, who scored all but four of his points in the second half, got it started, nailing a 3-point shot from the left wing. Then Amoke made a spectacular three-point play, grabbing a one-handed rebound and banking it in before landing. He made the free throw, making it 55-42.
The 6-foot-7 Amoke helped the Bears build a 51-32 rebounding advantage.
"As an undersized (power forward) this year, I really pride myself on not letting anybody bigger than me dominate me or take advantage of me," Amoke said. "When I'm out there, I'm going to play like I'm 6-11, 6-10."
Randle followed Amoke's three-point play with a pair of free throws and a jump shot, capping the run.
Later in the half, Randle and Christopher scored back-to-back baskets, upping Cal's lead to 72-53.
Randle scored 12 points in the first half, helping Cal build a 38-31 lead. Gutierrez added nine first-half points for the Bears, surpassing his scoring average of 5.6 points in just 30 minutes.
Brackins matched Randle with 12 first-half points for the Cyclones, who lost for the third straight time after a 6-0 start.
Iowa State built a 25-21 lead when Gilstrap hit two free throws with 7:45 left in the first half, but Cal went on a 10-2 run, taking a 31-27 edge. Amoke scored six points during the spurt, and Randle had four.
After Brackins hit an 18-foot jumper, Cal went on a 7-2 run to end the half. Gutierrez's fast break slam off a Cyclones turnover put the Bears ahead 38-29, their biggest lead of the half.
"We had a tough week. We lost two one-possession games earlier in the week," Iowa State coach Greg McDermott said. "We played pretty well for the first fifteen minutes. "Then the last five minutes of the first half, they went on that big run and that set the tone for the second half. We were really unable to stop them coming out of the gate to start that second half. That was the difference in the game."
Iowa State entered the game shooting a sizzling 47.9 percent from 3-point range, but made just 3 of 17 from behind the arc against Cal. The Cyclones had also scored at least 80 points four times, cracked the 90-point mark twice and were averaging 77.5 points per game before facing Cal.
"Our shooters had some decent looks, but they didn't knock them down," McDermott said.
Cal's Max Zhang, a 7-3 center from China, made his third straight start. He scored seven points, blocked two shots and spent much of the night defending Brackins.
"I thought Max was great," Cal coach Mike Montgomery said. "I thought Max got into his head a little. His length was a factor."
Cal and Iowa State hadn't met since the 1996 NCAA Tournament, when the Cyclones handed the Bears a 74-64 first-round defeat. With Saturday's win, Cal evened its series with Iowa State at 2-2.