The California Golden Bears didn't need much time to build up a dominating lead over the UC Irvine Anteaters and ended up cruising to a 77-56 victory in their first action of the season. It was by no means a dominating nor impressive effort, but Cal rolled out to an early 13-2 lead and opened up the margin by as many as 26 points.
Allen Crabbe led the way for the Golden Bears with 24 points, nailing two early threes and putting up 9 of the first 11 second half points. Crabbe showed excellent touch on his jump shot, hitting 10 of 19 shots and four triples. Jorge Gutierrez chipped in with an all-around excellent performance (11 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists), as he showed confidence in all facets of the game. Harper Kamp and Richard Solomon banged the boards (8 rebounds apiece); Solomon did most of his scoring by getting to the foul line while Kamp had a restrained 10 point effort. Brandon Smith chipped in six assists.
Cal could've won by more, but Mike Montgomery gave his bench some time to gel and they spent much of the last part of the first half and middle part of the second on the floor. They played ok, although many seemed hesitant to shoot and instead tried to force their offense back to the starters, which caused offensive hiccups and turnover issues. There will probably be more of these growing moments throughout the season.
The Golden Bears start facing some real tests with the tip-off of the CBE Classic when they face George Washington on Sunday night.
To discuss Cal basketball further, head to the California Golden Blogs.