FINAL SCORE: Cal 73, McNeese State 57. Closest home game yet — 16 points. Bears improve to 6-1 overall, 5-0 at Haas Pavilion. Gutierrez finishes with 26 points, six rebounds and five assists. Crabbe scores 20 and Kamp 10. Richard Solomon had 10 rebounds. Bears put their No. 24 ranking to the test on Sunday at San Diego State (7-1), which already owns wins over Arizona and USC.
3:13 2nd H: Cal leads 69-53. Gutierrez with 26, Crabbe 20 and Kamp 10.
7:35 2nd H: Cal was up 18 points a couple minutes ago, but McNeese has hit three 3-pointers and now trails just 57-49. Gutierrez has 24 and Crabbe 20 for the Bears.
11:48 2nd: Bears led 49-37. Gutierrez has 21 points, Crabbe has 17. That adds up to one more than McNeese has as a team. Cal has made its last four 3-pointers and is up to 46.5 percent from the field for the game.
16:26 2nd H: Cal beginning to take control. Bears lead 37-38 and Gutierrez is shooting one FT after the timeout. The difference is the Bears are attacking the zone, getting penetration and creating better shots. Crabbe has done it twice — once to feed Gutierrez for a layup and the other for a basket.
HALFTIME SCORE: Cal 28, McNeese 26. Crabbe hit a transition 3-pointer off a pass from Gutierrez as the horn sounded, giving Cal the lead. Gutierrez hit a 3-pointer on the previous possession to get Cal within a point. Gutierrez has 12 points and four assists at the break, Crabbe has nine points and four rebounds. Cal did not turn the ball over in the final 10 minutes of the half, but shot 2 for 8 from the FT line. This game will get better — it could hardly get worse.
3:24 1st H: McNeese State leads 22-18. (Im not making this up, you know). Cal is shooting 32 percent from the field against the Cowboys’ zone, is 0 for 4 from the 3-point arc and 2 for 5 from the FT line. Gutierrez has seven points and three assists. Robert Thurman coming in for the first time.
7:56 1st H: Hideous. That’s the word I’m looking for. McNeese leads 16-14. Cal is playing dumb basketball, taking hurried, silly shots . . . and not making many of them. The Bears are at 33 percent with six turnovers. Richard Solomon just missed a 3-point try that got him an earful from assistant coach Jay John.
11:42 1st H: McNeese leads 11-10. This game is hard to watch so far. Cal has five turnovers and is shooting 36 percent.
THIS SCORE JUST IN: Colorado 70, Georgia 68. A final.
15:59 1st H: Bears trail 8-7 at the first break after being down 8-2. Both teams shooting 50 percent, but Cal has three turnovers and missed a pair of free throws. It’s early.
STARTING LINEUPS: The Bears will go with their usual group — Harper Kamp, Richard Solomon, Allen Crabbe, Brandon Smith and Jorge Gutierrez. That means Solomon is feeling OK after getting his eye scratched Saturday against Denver. McNeese will start Patrick Richard, Jeremie Mitchell, Dontae Cannon, Daniel Richard and Rudy Turner.
WELCOME: The 5-1 Bears, who have won four home games by an average margin of 21.7 points, take on McNeese State (3-2) at Haas Pavilion tonight. Will have starting lineups in a few minutes.