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Basketball: Bears whip Danish to close trip

Cal beat the Danish national team for the second time in less than 24 hours, closing its five-game tour of northern Europe with a 95-78 victory at Copenhagen on Sunday. It was the biggest scoring output of the trip for the Bears, who finished with a 4-1 record.

Coach Mike Montgomery used a different starting lineup in this one, going with Robert Thurman, David Kravish, Allen Crabbe, Jorge Gutierrez and Justin Cobbs.

Thurman, the junior walk-on center who scored 21 points the day before, led the Bears with 17. Kravish contributed 14 points and seven rebounds, getting ample playing time as frontcourt starters Harper Kamp (knee) and Richard Solomon (scratched eye) sat out the game.

Crabbe scored 13 points, walk-on Jeff Powers had 10, Gutierrez scored nine, Cobbs matched eight points with eight assists, Brandon Smith scored seven points, Christian Behrens six, Emerson Murray five and Alex Rossi three.

Arizona, UCLA and Washington figure to be tougher than the Danish, but . . .

Certainly the overall performance of Thurman, who rarely played last season as a walk-on, has been a potential revelation. If he can contribute anything this season, the Euro venture will have been worthwhile.

Freshmen forwards Kravish and Behrens also have gained experience that will be invaluable headed into their rookie seasons and sophomore Cobbs, who sat out last season as a transfer from Minnesota, seems to be fitting in well as a combo guard.

The offshoot could be a much deeper team than a year ago.

The Bears led 26-24 at the end of the first quarter Sunday, extended the margin to 50-44 by halftime, then to 71-61 entering the final period.

The Bears topped the Danish 81-73 on Saturday and their only setback on the trip was in Game 3, when they fell 69-64 to the Norwegian national team in Oslo.

Cal returns home Monday, scheduled to land at SFO just before midnight.

Jeff Faraudo

  • eric

    Other than risking injury (see U$C) these types of trips are fantastic. One, we actual play decent opponents with an incentive to win (what national team wants to lose on its home court). Two, it gives a chance for the players to to connect with one another without the pressure of NCAA bids or Pac-12 standings hanging over their heads. Three, think about where they got to go!

  • Meep.

    hmm…the red light district?