GAME NOTES: Sporting a perfect 6-0 record at home this season, the California Golden Bears try to keep the good times rolling today as they host the Fresno State Bulldogs in non-conference action at Haas Pavilion.
Outside of a trip to Hawaii for the Maui Invitational, the Golden Bears have not left the Golden State. California, which is slated to take on Creighton in Omaha eight days from now, last took the floor on Tuesday against Nevada and came away with a 92-84 win over the Wolf Pack. The victory was the second in the last three outings for Cal, the setback coming against UC Santa Barbara on the road a week ago yesterday.
In the case of the Bulldogs, they've been out of action since last Saturday when they stumbled against Utah in Salt Lake City, 90-77. The loss snapped a two-game win streak that had been built on a pair of overtime affairs versus Cal State Bakersfield and Northern Arizona at home.
California leads the series between the in-state rivals by a count of 4-1, thanks in part to a 97-75 victory in the most recent encounter in Berkeley back in 2001.
Shooting 50 percent from the floor in the first half at the Huntsman Center, FSU trailed by a point at the break and then fell even further behind by converting 52.2 percent from the floor, en route to the double-digit setback. Marvelle Harris and Paul Watson led the attack with 22 and 20 points, respectively, before both fouled out, while Cezar Guerrero pitched in with 16 points and six assists.
Averaging more than 35 minutes per contest, Harris is the top scorer for the Bulldogs with his 18.4 ppg, hitting an even 50 percent from the field while also accounting for 5.7 rpg and placing second on the unit with 24 assists. Guerrero checks in with 14.8 ppg and has also been in the giving mood during the first 10 games of the campaign with 4.7 apg, a stat that has helped push the program to 78.2 ppg. However, the defense has been rather lax in giving up 75.4 ppg at the same time.
California allowed Nevada to connect on 60.7 percent from the field in the first half the last time out, yet still led at the break and managed to come out ahead, thanks to 55.9 percent accuracy from the field and 18-of-22 at the free-throw line. The Bears had six of the eight players to take the floor score in double figures, led by David Kravish and Jabari Bird with 16 points apiece. Justin Cobbs produced 15 points and eight assists, Richard Solomon and Tyrone Wallace 14 points apiece, followed by Jordan Mathews with 13 in the triumph.
Despite shooting a disappointing 24.1 percent behind the 3-point line through 10 starts, Cobbs is still the main focus of the offense for the Bears with his 14.0 ppg. More than just his point production, having Cobbs on the floor also helps teammates to generate offense, thanks to 6.6 apg. Kravish has been one of the main recipients of many of those passes, resulting in 13.0 ppg, although Kravish has created some of his own scoring opportunities thanks to 3.3 offensive rebounds per contest as well.
As long as the Golden Bears can again spread the wealth and survive no matter how well the opposition might shoot the ball, chances are the hosts will come out on top yet again this weekend.
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