Dec. 11, 2011
BERKELEY (AP) - Allen Crabbe was late for California's morning shootaround Sunday and temporarily lost his spot in the Golden Bears' starting lineup as a result.
It didn't matter much.
Crabbe came off the bench for the first time this season and had 17 points, nine coming during a big second-half run when Cal pulled away and coasted to a 73-46 win over Jackson State.
"A simple mistake," said Crabbe, who went 7 of 13 from the floor and finished in double figures for the fifth straight game and the seventh time this season. "It won't happen again. You learn from it and move on."
Richard Solomon, Crabbe's roommate and the Bears' leading rebounder, was also late for the shootaround after missing the previous two games while suspended for conduct contrary to athletic department values. He, too, was on the bench to start the Jackson State game.
That might have contributed to Cal's slow start, but Crabbe, who added five rebounds and three assists, got the Bears rolling, and they didn't look back, posting their sixth win of 21 or more points this season.
Not that coach Mike Montgomery was completely happy, especially with his oversleeping starters Crabbe and Solomon.
"It seemed like Richard would have been there 15 minutes early," Montgomery said bluntly. "It was uncharacteristic of Allen. He felt bad, but they're roommates. That's what happened."
Jorge Gutierrez had seven points, seven rebounds and 10 assists for California (8-2), which has won two straight since falling out of the Top 25.
Justin Cobbs added nine points and six assists for the Bears, who trailed early, led by 12 at halftime and pulled away after the break.
Jenirro Bush had 16 points and six rebounds for Jackson State (1-8), which has lost four straight. The Tigers matched the Bears' quickness but shot just 34 percent from the floor.
"We came out each half and were pretty competitive, (but) they wore us down," Jackson State coach Tevester Anderson said. "Fatigue gets you out of your game."
Crabbe sat out the first five minutes of the game and got off to a slow start before leaping high over teammate David Kravish to tip in a missed 3-point attempt by Emerson Murray. Crabbe made a 3-pointer to help spark a burst just before halftime, then had nine points and an assist during a 16-2 run in the second half to help the Bears take a 51-30 lead.
Montgomery's team coasted from there, getting a 10 points off the bench from seldom-used Bak Bak.
"We picked it up more in the second half," said Crabbe, Cal's leading scorer. "Guys battled on defense and we were a little more aggressive. We started to stretch out their zone a little bit more."
The loss was the fourth straight for Jackson State, which is on a six-game road trip. The Tigers were playing for the first time since falling to No. 21 Memphis 70-45 on Nov. 28, their fourth loss to a Top 25 team this season.
They didn't get a break against Cal, either. The Bears, who dropped out of the rankings after losing to San Diego State on Dec. 4, forced 16 turnovers and outrebounded Jackson State 33-23.
Kelsey Howard had 11 points for the Tigers, who stay in Northern California to play Saint Mary's on Monday.
Solomon came off the bench to spark a Cal run that gave the Bears a 31-19 lead at the break. He had four points, including an emphatic two-handed dunk, during a 9-0 run for the Bears.
Jackson State's other losses to Top 25 teams were against No. 2 Ohio State, No. 6 Baylor and No. 12 Florida.