FINAL SCORE: San Digeo State 77, Cal 57. Kawhi Leonard, who looks like a pro, scored 20 points, James Rahon scored 15 and D.J. Gay had 14 — all in the second half — for the Aztecs, who improved to 9-0 for the first time in school history. Cal (5-3) got 19 points from Gutierrez, 18 from Kamp. Sanders-Frison, despite his foot problems, contributed eight points and 12 rebounds. Cal shot 38 percent and was 0 for 9 from the 3-point line. The Bears outrebounded SDSU 38-28.
3:51 2nd H: SDSU leads 67-52 and this is about over. Kamp and MSF each have four fouls, the latter is now on the bench. Cal won the rebounding battle, but that was about it. Bears are 0 for 9 from 3PT and shooting 38 percent overall. And too often this half the Aztecs have scored uncontested transition baskets after a bad shot or turnover.
7:35 2nd H: SDSU leads 58-48. Bak just scored off a pass from Crabbe. Monty is trying every combination he can come up with. But the Aztecs right now are playing like the 14th-ranked team in the country.
9:36 2nd H: SDS just scored seven straight points, including a couple fastbreak baskets where Cal simply did not get back on defense. Monty called timeout — and he was MAD. It’s 58-44 and may be slipping away. Sanders-Frison returning to the floor.
11:12 2nd H: Crabbe just scored on a nice post-up move off a feed from Richard Solomon — so a nice contribution from the freshman, after all. Gutierrez stole the ball and Cal will have possession after the timeout. SDSU leads 51-44. Bears at 35.9 percent, Aztecs at 41.7. Cal still has not made a 3-pointer: 0 for 8. But still in charge on the boards: 33-22. But they are going to miss MSF if he does not return. He is, however, lacing up his shoes again on the sideline. Will keep you posted.
11:50 2nd H: The Aztecs have gone 8-0 on the Bears, including a pair of 3-pointers by Gay, and lead 51-42. Plenty of SDSU fans cheering about it. (A good crowd, by the way. Easily the biggest of the year). Sanders-Frison has his right shoe off on the sideline. Don’t know if he’ll be back. Crabbe made a nice head-fake and jumper a few minutes ago, but the freshman are struggling. He and Franklin are a combined 1 for 11.
14:34 2nd H: Sanders-Frison, who had eight points and 11 rebounds, just limped off the floor, apparently aggravating the plantar faschiitis in one of his feet. He is sitting on the floor at the end of the Cal bench. Looks like his right foot.
15:55 2nd H: SDSU leads 39-36 after six more lead changes. Thomas and Leonard, two of the Aztecs’ good frontcourt players, have picked up their third fouls. Gutierrez has 13 points and Kamp 12. Leonard has 10 for SDSU.
HALFTIME: San Diego State leads 28-26. Gutierrez came back into the game at a timeout with 20 seconds left and drew a three-shot foul, then made them all. Cal is within two points of the No. 14 team in the country despite shooting 7 for 29 (24.1 percent) in the half. Cal was 0 for 5 from the 3-point line and has seven turnovers. But they forged a 29-19 rebounding advantage against a team outrebounding its opponents by more than eight per game. Sanders-Frison has nine rebounds. Kamp and Gutierrez each have nine points. SDSU, shooting just 30.6 percent, is led by Rahon with 11 points.
3:50 1st H: San Diego State leads 22-18. Kamp has nine points and five rebounds and with 4:08 left scored on a tipin — the Bears’ first field goal in 10 minutes.
6:37 1st H: (Sorry about that — computer ills). San Diego State leads 20-16. James Rahon, the sixth man and Santa Clara transfer, hit three 3-pointers in a span of 2 1/2 minutes, bringing the Aztes back from a 14-9 hole. Gutierrez had just gone out with his second foul with 14:08 left, and since then the Bears have been outscored 11-2. They have missed their past eight shots from the field. Gutierrez just checked back in.
14:41 1st H: Cal leads 10-9 in a game that already has featured six lead changes. SDSU is as advertised — very athletic, tries to block everything and Kawhi Leonard has a beautiful soft jumper. He’s 3 for 4 and has seven points. But Cal is running its offense well and getting its share of rebounds so far. Neither team has a turnover.
FACES IN THE CROWD: Former Arizona State coach Bill Frieder is on hand, no doubt to see his one-time Michigan assistant, Steve Fisher, now the Aztecs’ coach. Former Cal great Kevin Johnson, the mayor of Sacramento, just arrived. Also expected tonight are ex-Bears Shareef Abdur Rahim, now an executive with the Sacramento Kings, and Michael “Yogi” Stewart. This must be an important game.
STARTING LINEUPS: For the eighth straight game, the Bears will start Harper Kamp, Markhuri Sanders-Frison, Allen Crabbe, Gary Franklin and Jorge Gutierrez. The Aztecs’ starting five is Kawhi Leonard, Billy White, Malcolm Thomas, Chase Tapley and D.J. Gay.
WELCOME: Cal (5-2) faces its biggest challenge to date against visiting No. 14 San Diego State (8-0). The Aztecs are dreaming of a spot in the top-10. Will be back in a few minutes with starting lineups.