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Richard Solomon recorded a career-high 16 rebounds.
Courtesy: GoldenBearSports.com
Cal Earns 30th Consecutive November Home Win
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  11/12/2013

BERKELEY, Calif. -- Tyrone Wallace scored 16 points and David Kravish 15 in leading California to a 77-50 victory over Denver on Tuesday night for Cal's 30th consecutive November home win.

Richard Solomon had a career-high 16 rebounds, nine points and two blocks for the Bears (2-0), and Cal senior point guard Justin Cobbs scored 10 points and had six assists.

Griffin led the Pioneers (0-1) with 15 points, and Marcus Byrd added 10. Chris Udofia and Brett Olson scored eight points apiece.

Cal improved to 5-0 in the series and beat Denver for the third straight season.

“I was pleased," Cal head coach Mike Montgomery said. 'We worried about the back cuts that they set you up and get layups. We tried to not let them back cut and make them come to the dribble hand offs. Olson is a good shooter. Justin wanted the challenge of guarding him and he did a really good job." 

Kravish shot 7-for-12 from the field, mostly around the basket, while Wallace went 5 for 10.

"They were just giving me the ball," Kravish said. "Denver's not as big, and we kind of talked about it, focusing on getting the ball inside a little bit after the last game. We took advantage of them switching. They were just getting me the ball."

Heralded freshman guard Jabari Bird made his first career start for Cal. Bird, who scored 14 points off the bench in his debut Friday against Coppin State, went scoreless in the first half and finished with eight points on 3-of-8 shooting.

The Bears took control early, using their superior size to dominate Denver inside and build a 35-18 halftime lead. The Pioneers had no starter taller than the 6-foot-7 Byrd, while the Bears countered with the 6-10 Solomon and 6-9 Kravish. They combined to score 15 of the Bears' first 29 points.

"When me and David get after it, we can both rebound the ball," Solomon said. "We can both get it going offensively and we both love to block shots. When we get going, we can be pretty good. We're long, athletic. We can jump. We like to rebound. That's the one thing about us. We like to rebound."

Cal bolted to a 14-2 lead with Kravish doing most of the damage, scoring nine quick points and converting a three-point play.

The Pioneers, who averaged 7.9 3-point baskets per game last season, came out cold. They missed their first eight 3-point shots and 12 of their first 14 overall. The Bears made 10 of their first 13 shots -- missing their only 3-point try taken during that span -- and built a 24-5 lead as Solomon made a slam dunk with 7:40 left in the first half.

"We didn't get off to a good start," Denver coach Joe Scott said. "Our shooting, obviously, was nonexistent, for all intents and purposes. It was a very tough assignment right out of the gate, against a veteran older team. They played like that. They had a game Friday night, they were ready to go. They had familiarity between themselves having played. They took advantage of that. I know that we were prepared defensively. I thought our defense was pretty good. It's hard to maintain your defense when the ball never goes in the basket for you."

Griffin, who led the Pioneers with 10 first-half points, finally made Denver's first 3-point shot with 7:17 remaining in the half.

Udofia, a first-team All-Summit League pick and Denver's top returning scorer, had only three points in the first half.

Cal returns to action on Friday when the Bears take on Oakland at Haas Pavilion at 8 p.m. (PT).


Cal Bears Men's Basketball


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