Nov. 26, 2010
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) -Carleton Scott had 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Notre Dame held California to five points at halftime to move into the Old Spice Classic championship game with a 57-44 victory Friday night.
The Irish (6-0) took a 21-5 lead in a sloppy first half for both teams, went ahead by 18 points and held on to hand the Golden Bears (3-1) their first loss of the season. Notre Dame will play Wisconsin in the final Sunday.
Allen Crabbe had 10 points and 10 rebounds and Harper Kamp scored 10 for California, which couldn't recover from its horrendous first half. The Golden Bears trimmed the deficit to 10 late but never mounted a seriously comeback.
The first half was as sloppy as a college game gets - even the Old Spice Classic logo at midcourt came unglued. Small patches of the emblem had to be taped down for the second straight day with far more area to cover Friday. The logo didn't appear to have any holes after it was repaired, and never seemed to effect any plays.
The teams did that on their own.
Cal turned the ball over on almost every way possible: players bounced balls off their legs, threw passes to the wrong team and sometimes not even to anybody. When the Golden Bears actually did shoot, their attempts weren't any prettier: They went 2 for 25 before the break, including 0 for 8 on 3-pointers.
Not that the Irish were much better.
They were 9-for-32 shooting, including 0 for 13 from beyond the arc, with five turnovers in the opening half. But they eventually found their rhythm, taking a 17-point lead early in the second half to pull away.
Notre Dame will take a win any way it can get it.
There wasn't much expected this year with mainstays Luke Harangody and Tory Jackson gone. But now a team that was supposed to be in transition has a chance to do something special already this year.
Cal, meanwhile, got its first reality check.
Five seniors from last season's Pac-10 title team are gone, including conference player of the year and leading scorer Jerome Randle, second-leading scorer Patrick Christopher and top 3-point shooter Theo Robertson. All played key roles in the school's first title in 50 years.
A young, inexperienced roster featuring six freshmen for a team that earned back-to-back NCAA tournament berths in coach Mike Montgomery's first two seasons finally looked like it.
The Golden Bears will play the loser of Temple-Georgia in the losers' bracket Sunday.