Coach Mike Montgomery wasn’t real cheery about the Bears’ 89-80 exhibition win over San Francisco State on Tuesday night at Haas Pavilion.
First of all, senior guard Brandon Smith injured his left shoulder in a collision midway through the second half and watched the rest of the game from the sidelines with a huge ice pack wrapped around it.
“We don’t know how long he’s going to be out,” said Montgomery, who did not specify the nature of the injury.
Asked what he thought of his team’s performance, Montgomery said, “Not much.”
Cal led by as many as 18 points, but the Division II Gators whittled the margin down to five points with just 1:05 left.
“Defensively, we were poor,” Montgomery said. “They spread court and went five out and took you at point of attack. I don’t think we got an advantage with our bigs. It’s something we have a problem with right now. We gave up 17 offensive rebounds, which is not acceptable.”
Allen Crabbe had 28 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Bears and backcourt mate Justin Cobbs added 22 points and five assists. Smith scored 14 points and played well before leaving the game.
Up front, Richard Solomon had 15 points and seven rebounds and David Kravish had seven points and 10 rebounds.
Cal shot 29 for 32 from the free throw line, but forced just five turnovers and routinely allowed the smaller Gators to get into the lane for point-blank shots.
“The times we did (rebound) we got out on the break and scored the ball,” Montgomery said. “Give San Francisco State credit, they played hard, shot the ball well.”
It’s unclear whether Smith will be back for Sunday evening’s opener vs. Cal State Bakersfield, but the Bears already have a backcourt shortage with sophomore Ricky Kreklow sidelined another 2 to 3 weeks by foot surgery last month.
Freshman Tyrone Wallace is the only other available guard, meaning the Bears sometimes played with a bigger lineup — a lineup that did not defend well.
“If we’re going to play big and give up something as a result, we’ve got to dominate the boards,” Montgomery said.
Asked about allowing 17 offensive rebounds, Crabbe said, “For us, as the bigger team, that’s not a good look for us.”
Added Cobbs on the defensive effort, “Guys drove by us and got easy shots.”
Cal led 49-34 almost purely on the scoring efforts of Crabbe (18 points), Cobbs (16) and Smith (12), who combined for 46 points on 12 for 18 shooting. The rest of the team shot 1 for 9 in the half.
The scoring became more balanced in the second half, mostly thanks to Solomon, whose night included an improved 7 for 8 effort at the foul line. Wallace shot just 1 for 5, but made a big 3-pointer late.
Oakland-Skyline HS grad Nefi Perdomo scored 23 points — 20 of them in the second half — for the Gators.
One-time high-Division I prospect Decensae White had 19 points and seven rebounds for S.F. State. White, who will turn 25 in January, played at San Mateo-Serra HS, then spent two seasons at Texas Tech before tranferring home to Santa Clara for a one-year stint.