Basketball: Bird scores 24, Bears escape Grizzlies

Jabari Bird scored a career-high 24 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:23 left, and Cal overcame Oakland U of Mich., 64-60 at Haas Pavilion.

Cal (3-0) trailed by as many as nine points in the first half and the Grizzlies (0-3) led 30-24 at the break.

But Bird, the freshman from Salesian HS in Richmond, scored 19 of his 24 points in the second half. He finished 6 for 8 from the 3-point line and had five rebounds.

The score was tied at 56-all when Bird missed from 3-point range. Ricky Kreklow corraled the offensive rebound and passed back to Bird, who connected from beyond the arc, giving Cal a lead it wouldn’t surrender.

Senior Richard Solomon added 11 points and a career-high 17 rebounds. Solomon is averaging 14.3 rebounds through three games.

Senior Justin Cobbs had 13 points and five assists, but shot just 2 for 8 from the field. The Bears made just 2 of their first 10 shots and finished at 38.8 percent. Other than Bird, Cal shot 1 for 10 from the 3-point arc.

Cal shot 33 percent and had nine turnovers in the first half.

Jeff Faraudo

  • Juancho

    Hes the real deal. When they take the training wheels off he will have the occasional 40 point game. Tonight is a glimpse of why this guy will be a first round pick whenever he declares.

    His shot is so smooth. Great kid too. Big fan of his.

  • Gobears49

    Watched the last ten minutes. Either we were too overconfident against a depleted opponent or we’re not as talented as others on this blog have touted. But the season’s early. We should beat Southern Utah. The big games that will tell how good Cal is are in the upcoming Maui tournament, where we play three games and open against Arkansas. Hope those games are televised.

    Interesting that Rooks played 5 minutes when the game was on the line. Was also really impressed that Soloman only had one foul, a vast departure from last season. Him and Kravish, our only effective big men now (everyone else, except for Rooks, who played last night are 6’6″ or smaller) have to be very careful about not making stupid fouls and to be very careful about fouling overall. We definitely cannot have either of those guys foul out.

  • wehofx

    Juancho, agree. Bird’s jumper is a thing of beauty. He can drive. He’s not afraid to take the Big shot.

    imo he needs to put on 10/15 pounds before going to nba. But. Then look at S Curry, very similar body type and shot. He played 3 years at Davidson. We can hope.

    (Erik Brown? Think we gotta legit shot?)

    GB49, our Bears got lucky last night. For the first 30 minutes, they were phoning it in. Negative assist/turn over ratio 11-13 because of lackadaisical ball handling.

    Even w Bird bailing us out w clutch shots/performances, seems like this team is good for a coupla Harvard type losses. Unless, Cobbs, Kreklow or Solo come up big in the leadership department. Fast.

    Ya. Seems like Monty is trying to set Rooks up for 10 to 12 minutes per by Pac play. We’ll need it if we want to do anything in the tourny.

    True frosh Matthews and Singer can BALL, too!

  • 1brsfan

    We did look like we expected a win by just showing up but it was also all the breaks going OAK’s way. We missed 3 dunks (2 solo, 1 Kravish) in first 8-10 of the game while they hit a couple prayer 3 pointers as the shot clock expired. They also had some shots go in on a continuation of a foul that we’re lucky to go in. You give us a few of those and take away a few for them and we’re up at half.

    Bird is the real deal and he will only get better.

  • Mitchie V

    I’m always fascinated by the coach’s handshake after the game. Oakland coach Greg Kempe showed a lot of character after that narrow miss.

    And Oakland was a well-coached team.