Basketball: Utah Valley game thread

FINAL SCORE: Cal 85, Utah Valley 51. The Bears (7-4) play UC Santa Barbara in Tuesday’s final. Cal will shoot for its 12th Golden Bear Classic title in 17 years. Utah Valley is 6-6. Some other numbers: Omondi Amoke scored nine points off the bench, Boykin finished with eight points, Zhang had three blocks and Bak Bak had two in 5 minutes. Utah Valley’s most interesting stat: Rory Fannon fouled out in 6 minutes. The Wolverines shot 23.3 percent in the second half.

7:53 2nd H: Cal’s lead is 73-40 with Sanders-Frison shooting 2 FTs. Christopher has 18, Randle 16 and Robertson 13. All three are on the bench.

14:38 2nd H: Max just dunked and it’s 54-28.

15:22 2nd H: Cal has stretched the lead to 50-28 by outscoring the Wolverines 10-2 to start the half. Robertson is going to the FT line after the timeout. Christopher now has 14 points, including a thunderous fastbreak dunk. Swarbrick is on the Utah Valley sideline after banging his left knee. Not sure if he’ll be back.

HALFTIME: Cal 40, Utah Valley 26. That 14-point lead kind of snuck up us. Bears didn’t really play that well during stretches, but got enough done with 11 different players to take control. Cal is shooting 48.3 percent, Utah Valley 44.0 percent. Just three Cal turnovers. Sanders-Frison has two fouls, but no one else has more than one. Christopher has 10 points — the only player on either team in double figures.

2:41 1st H: Cal’s lead is 35-22 after a 12-5 run. Brandon Smith was in at PG for Randle and just delivered a nice feed to Sanders-Frison for a layup. Christopher leads the Bears with 10 points and, unofficially, three steals. Cal has just three turnovers, Utah Valley has seven.

7:30 1st H: The Bears are back up 23-17. Randle and Gutierrez each hit 3-pointers and the Wolverines have just a Jordan Swarbrick 3-pointer to show for their past seven possessions.

11:48 1st H: The  Bears have gone cold — shooting 1-for-5 since starting 4-for-6 — and Utah Valley has climbed into a 14-13 lead. The Wolverines appear to be playing with a bit more gusto at this point. Don’t want to say Cal is sleepwalking, but they’re not exactly a buzzsaw right now. Max Zhang is coming in for Boykin.

15:43 1st H: Robertson has seven points and an assist and the Bears lead 11-7. Still, it’s been a bit sluggish so far. Christopher has two baskets, including a nice jumper. Sanders-Frison picked up his first foul with 16:30 left and got an immediate hook. Jorge Gutierrez replaced him, giving the Bears a small lineup, and it took him just 16 seconds to collect his first PF.

STARTING LINEUPS: A change in Cal’s recent starting five, as junior Markhuri Sanders-Frison returns to the first unit along with Jerome Randle, Patrick Christopher, Theo Robertson and Jamal Boykin. Utah Valley will start Corey Claitt, Jordan Swarbrick, Tyray Petty, Jourdain Scoubes and Justin Baker. Tipoff is seconds away.

OOPS: Got some bad numbers — hate when that happens — and mistakenly calculated that Jerome Randle has 1,390 career points, putting him just nine shy of moving into 10th place on Cal’s career list. Randle actually sits at 1,376 points, which is 13th all-time. He needs seven tonight to pass Roy Fisher (1988-91), nine to move ahead of Ansley Truitt (1970-72) and 23 to displace Keith Smith (1987-90) at No. 10.

GAME 1: No surprise here — UC Santa Barbara (5-4) beat Furman (5-6) 72-60 to move into Tuesday’s championship game. The Bears are 7-0 all-time vs. the Gauchos. UCSB got 24 points from sophomore James Nunnally of San Jose and 21 from sophomore Orlando Johnson. The Paladins were led by Jordan Miller’s 19 points.

WELCOME: Good evening, folks, we’re back at Haas Pavilion. Seems like forever, and it has been 23 days since Cal’s most recent home game.

Cal (6-4) is facing Utah Valley (6-5) in tonight’s 17th annual Golden Bear Classic. Here’s a hint on how things are likely to go: the Bears have never lost in the opening round of their own tournament.

Jeff Faraudo


    JF – thanks for all of the updates – very informative. Is there any thought of a starting five of Randle, Christopher, Robertson, Amoke and Boykin? Omondi’s skills (rebounding, ability to score inside, draw fouls, defend opposing 4s) seem to mesh well with the other 4 starters, and as productive as he’s been in his limited minutes, I think he could be even more productive with an expanded role. It’s also a nice middle ground between going “small” with Jorge, or “big” with Max or Markhuri.