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December 7, 2011

Bears blast SJSU in first half



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BERKELEY -- After a close loss to San Diego State on Sunday, the California basketball team found its old self at home against vastly-overmatched San Jose State, with a dominating 43-15 first-half performance that saw the Bears hit every single three-point shot and free-throw in the first 20 minutes.

After tying the game at 2-2 on a jumper by Wil Carter, 1:10 into the game, the Spartans would not hit another field goal until Carter hit a jumper in the paint with 14:10 left in the first half, as Cal went on a 17-0 run.

Senior guard Jorge Gutierrez completely neutralized guard James Kinney, who came into the game averaging 18.1 points per game for San Jose State. Through the first 20 minutes, Kinney was 0-for-6 from the field.

Sophomore wing Allen Crabbe had one of his best shooting performances of the year in the first half, hitting 5-of-7 field goals, his only three attempt, and all three of his free-throw attempts to lead all scorers with 14 points. Crabbe also chipped in three boards and two assists.

Crabbe wasn't the only Bear to shoot lights-out. Sophomore starting point guard Justin Cobbs shot 4-for-6 from the field and 2-of-2 from three to finish the first period with 10 points, and Gutierrez shot 4-of-8 from the field and 2-of-2 from the charity stripe for 10 points, to go along with two boards, two assists and a steal.

Carter led the way in the first half with 11 points for the Spartans, who shot just 6-of-28 from the field and 0-for-5 from three.

Despite a starting lineup which consisted of one player -- Cobbs -- making his second start of the season and another -- true freshman David Kravish -- making the first of his college career, Cal was relatively disciplined for much of the first half, committing just five total fouls. Two of those, though, came from senior power forward Harper Kamp, who at times held his balky knee after a play down low and tallied just two points, looking a bit out-of-sorts in the low and mid-post.

Kravish started off strong on the boards in his first collegiate start, getting more physical and more aggressive on the glass as the first half went along, finishing the first stanza with a game-high five rebounds.

With just under nine minutes left in the half, Kravish backed up in the low defensive post and changed the angle of an up-and-under shot from a driving Lavanne Pennington. he then grabbed the rebound from the missed shot and pushed the ball up to Gutierrez, who found Cobbs inside for the bucket.

On the next Spartans possession, Kravish once again gave Pennington fits, leaping up to grab the rebound, clearing out the key, moving it up the floor to Crabbe, who then hit a wide-open look from three, much to the delight of the suspended Richard Solomon, who was cheering hard on the bench.

Cobbs was a force all over the floor, dishing out a team-high four assists, making one steal and pulling down two boards.


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