FINAL SCORE: Cal 74, UC Davis 62. Franklin led the Bears (4-2) with 13 points, shooting 4 for 8 from the field, and Bak scored a career-high 12 points on 6 for 6 shooting to go with a career-high six rebounds. Sanders-Frison had 10 points, making all five of his shots. Cal converted 54 percent and outrebounded the Aggies 31-21. Joe Harden scored 27 for Davis (3-5), which is 0-31 all-time vs. Cal. Former Bears walk-on Eddie Miller had six points and six rebounds for the Aggies.
5:41 2nd H: Cal lead is 68-52 after two FTs by the Aggies’ Miller. Cal was up by 18 after a layup and free throw by Gutierrez.
7:31 2nd H: Somehow, Cal has its biggest lead at 64-50 after a 3-pointer by Franklin and a steal and layup by Solomon, who is going to the FT line for one shot. Cal’s lead reached 55-43 before Davis answered with a 6-0 run. Cal now has its own 6-0 surge and its biggest lead. Both teams shooting above 50 percent. The difference: Davis has 13 turnovers, Cal just eight.
13:00 2nd H: Cal leads 53-43. Sanders-Frison’s dunk gave the Bears the 10-point lead. He has 10 points on 5 for 5 from the field. Franklin made a jumper and he also has 10 points. Just one of those games where nothing comes easily.
15:52 2nd H: The Bears lead 47-41. They were up 42-30 after Franklin hit a 3-pointer to open the half, but Kamp is out with his second foul and the Aggies have scored the past five points, including Eddie Miller’s first basket. Bak is back. Defense still lacking.
HALFTIME: Cal 39, UC Davis 30. Very strange half. The Bears shot 54 percent and had just four turnovers, but were not in the least impressive. Mike Montgomery is sure to have something to say to his team about defense, which allowed the Aggies to shoot 52 percent, and several times surrendered wide-open perimeter shots. Bak was the headliner of the half, scoring eight points — his career high by four — including a steal and 60-foot drive to the basket to score with 1.8 seconds left in the half. Crabbe, Sanders-Frison and Carter each have six points. Kamp has five assists, equaling his career best. Joe Harden has 12 points for Davis and Mark Payne has 11. Miller has four rebounds in his return to Haas, but is 0 for 3 and scoreless.
3:37 1st H: Cal leads 30-25 and it’s come to this: Nigel Carter and Bak Bak are leading the way. Carter has two 3-point baskets and Bak has scored a pair of baskets, including a thunderous follow drunk off a miss by Gutierrez that gave Cal its five-point lead. Sanders-Frison, by the way, is on the bench with two fouls. Trust me, this isn’t pretty.
7:18 1st H: Cal has zoomed into a 21-20 lead, thanks to a baseline jumper by Richard Solomon. A few moments earlier, Nigel Carter drained a 3-pointer for the Bears. Cal is shooting 53 percent, but allowing the Aggies to convert 57 percent. Davis has six turnovers. Cal is 2 for 5 from the FT line.
11:19 1st H: The Aggies lead 16-13, which suggests the Bears have not actually scored a layup on every possession. Crabbe has six points, but the Bears have four turnovers.
15:59 1st H: Cal leads 6-3 at the first media timeout. Sanders-Frison has all three baskets. Frankly, it appears Cal should be able to get a layup almost at will.
THE LAST TIME: These teams haven’t played since the 1986-87 season, back when Kevin Johnson was a senior for the Bears. He had 15 points in that Cal victory. Also playing that night was Jon Wheeler, who is attending tonight’s game.
THIS SCORE JUST IN: Iowa State, which will host Cal on Saturday in the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series, lost tonight for the first time, falling 60-54 at Northern Iowa. The Cyclones (6-1), who really hadn’t played anyone who is any good, shot 33 percent and got outrebounded 39-29.
STARTING LINEUPS: Cal will start its usual five players — Harper Kamp, Markhuri Sanders-Frison, Allen Crabbe, Gary Franklin and Jorge Gutierrez. Davis will go with Mark Payne, Mike Kurtz, Todd Lowenthal, Joe Harden and former Cal walk-on Eddie Miller.
WELCOME: Back at Haas Pavilion, and no one is likely to be happier about it than the Bears, who spent six days in Florida over the Thanksgiving weekend, beating Temple, then losing to Notre Dame and Boston College. Tonight the Bears (3-2) take on UC Davis (3-4), against whom they have an all-time record of 30-0. Of course, Davis was a Division II program for all of those. Still, this should be a confidence booster for Cal.