BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) – With the game well in hand, redshirt senior Jeff Powers was given his chance to shine. He took full advantage.
Powers, who came off the bench, scored a career-high 18 points on six 3-pointers in helping California remain unbeaten at home with a 90-60 victory over Furman on Saturday.
“I can’t put into words how it felt,” Powers said. “It was pretty special. I haven’t done anything like that since high school.”
Senior Richard Solomon, among the top 15 nationally in rebounding, recorded his fourth double-double of the season with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Solomon also had three blocked shots for 97. He could join David Kravish (127) as the only Cal teammates to each reach 100.
“This was just what the doctor ordered,” Cal coach Mike Montgomery said. “We needed some positive reinforcement.”
Furman guard Stephen Croone, who scored a career-best 40 points in his last game, was held to 11 points, all but two in the second half. Larry Wideman also scored 11 for the Paladins (5-7), who have lost three of four games.
William Gates, Jr. led the Paladins with 13 points.
California, which opens Pac-12 play at Bay Area rival Stanford on Thursday night, took an early lead behind its best shooting effort of the season at .607.
“The last few practices we put an emphasis on making the extra pass,” Cobbs said. “The ball was really moving and a lot of guys were making shots. We were doing all the right things.”
Cobbs, 18 of 49 (.367) since his 31-point effort against Dayton, was 9 of 13 against the Paladins.
Wallace, 9 of 25 (.360) his previous two games, sank 8 of 10 shots against Furman.
“Today was a big step forward from the aspect of confidence,” Cobbs said. “When we are playing as a team we’re way more effective.”
The Bears led at halftime, 43-25.
Cal played without starters Ricky Kreklow and Jabari Bird. Kreklow, a junior, broke his right hand during a practice before Christmas. Bird, a freshman averaging 11.9 points a game, suffered a sprained ankle in the Bears’ 68-54 loss at Creighton last Sunday.
“That’s when you need guys to step in and make plays and that’s what Jeff did,” Cobbs said. “He came off the bench and made contributions.”
Powers, a redshirt senior, entered the game with two points in a combined 21 minutes on the season. He had six 3-pointers all of last season.
“He is a good shooter and that’s what he’s always been,” Montgomery said. “It was nice to see.”
Powers easily drew the loudest reaction from the crowd and he did not shy away, broadly smiling and acknowledging the fans.
“My shots fell, there’s really nothing else to say,” said Powers, who attended nearby De La Salle High. “My teammates did a good job of finding me when I did hit shots.”
Furman held its only lead at 4-2, which California erased by scoring the next 11 points. The Bears went up by double digits in the first eight minutes and it was never close afterward.
Croone had become the first Furman player to record at least 40 points in a game in over 41 years in his last outing.
Montgomery won his 118th game at Cal (666 overall) to move with a game of Pete Newell for fourth on the school’s all-time win list.
The Bears improved to 43-6 at home in nonconference games under Montgomery, who ranks 27th on the all-time Division I wins list.