By Jonathan Okanes
Cal Bear Blog
Richard Solomon had a feeling it might go like this.
Faced with an opponent with a smaller lineup, Solomon and Kravish dominated the paint in Cal’s 82-56 victory over Washington at Haas Pavilion on Wednesday night.
Solomon and Kravish recorded double-doubles together for the first time this season. Solomon, one of only two players from a major conference averaging a double-double this season, had 13 points and 12 rebounds. Kravish, meanwhile, added 11 points and 11 rebounds. It was Solomon’s sixth double-double of the season.
Solomon said he and Kravish talked before the game that they could both get a double-double against the Huskies.
“We knew this game that it was possible,” Solomon said. “We knew we’d be able to use our length to our advantage.”
Kravish also had four blocks to move into sole possession of second place on Cal’s all-time list with 136. Solomon had one block to give him an even 100 for his career. It marks the first time in Cal history two teammates have recorded 100 career blocks together, a nugget of information that prompted Solomon and Kravish to high-five each other when informed.
“People underestimate us because we’re kind of thin, but we can go get some balls,” Solomon said.
It’s hard to believe anyone would underestimate Solomon, Kravish or anything about the Bears at this point. Cal is off to a 4-0 start to Pac-12 play for the first time since 2009 and 13-4 overall. With Solomon and Kravish excelling inside, point guard Justin Cobbs running the team flawlessly and Tyrone Wallace contributing in a variety of ways, expectations continue to grow for the Bears.
“There is always room for improvement,” Kravish said. “But it was a great game for us. Everybody played hard and everybody got in. You’re aiming for wins like this. Everyone plays and it’s a real team win.”
As well as the Bears are playing, they’re still not complete. Freshman Jabari Bird returned from a four-game absence due to a sprained ankle but played just 12 minutes, and most after the game was well in hand. Fellow guard Ricky Kreklow is still another week or two away from returning from a broken hand.
Still, Cal is playing at an extremely high level. The Bears shot 55 percent from the floor while holding Washington to just 30 percent. Cal had 22 assists compared with just nine turnovers and had five players score in double-figures.
Wallace had 14 points and eight rebounds while Cobbs finished with 11 points and six assists. Jeff Powers hit three 3-pointers and had 12 points, including a four-point play in the second half after banking home a 3-pointer.
“Defensively, we were good,” Cal coach Mike Montgomery said. “We started the game nervous. We hadn’t played at home in a month. We missed some really easy shots early but then got it going a little bit.”