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FINAL SCORE: Cal 73, UC Irvine 56. The Bears (6-2) got 19 points and 10 rebounds from David Kravish, 14 points from freshman Jabari Bird and 13 points from Richard Solomon in his return after missing two games with a corneal abrasion. Tyrone Wallace contributed eight points and 11 rebounds and Justin Cobbs dished nine assists.
3:28 2nd H: Cal leads 68-49. Kravish has 19 points, Bird 14 and Solomon 13. Ndiaye fouled out with 7:29 left, having totaled four points, five rebounds and two blocks in just 10 minutes on the floor.
13:11 2nd H: Cal has extended its lead to 51-31, thanks to Kravish, who has made six straight shots and has 16 points for the game. Ndiaye asserted himself to start the half, blocking a shot by Bird and dunking the ball without leaving the floor. But he picked up his fourth foul with 14:36 left and took a seat. He has two points and four rebounds.
HALFTIME: Cal 35, UC Irvine 19. The Bears held a team averaging 85.5 ppg to their season-low for a first half, thanks to wretched shooting. UCI was 7 for 34 (20.6 percent) in the half and made just 2 of its final 21 attempts in the half over the final 11 1/2 minutes. Cal’s 26-11 lead with 9 minutes left gradually withered due to its own offensive slump in which the Bears scored just 2 points in 12 offensive possessions. Irvine crept within 28-19 when Monty put all his starters back in — including Solomon with two fouls. The Bears closed the half with a 7-0 burst to rebuild their lead.
7:16 1st H: Cal’s lead is 26-13, thanks to 62.5-percent shooting by the Bears and 25-percent by the Anteaters. Jabari Bird’s six points lead a balanced Cal attack.
11:51 1st H: Cal leads 19-9. The Bears are shooting 73 percent — 8 for 11. Tyrone Wallace delivered a highlight worthy of SportsCenter when he took an outlet pass from Ricky Kreklow off a turnover, sprinted past a UCI defender as he took the ball around his back, then dunked.
15:34 1st H: Cal leads 7-2. Irvine shooting 1 for 7. Ndiaye picked up two fouls in a span of 10 seconds, taking a seat on the bench with 16:35 left. Earlier, Jabari Bird, giving up a foot, came from behind to block a shot by the 7-ft-6 Ndiaye. Solomon, who has scored five of Cal’s points, also on the bench with his second foul at 16:28.
STARTING LINEUPS: Cal will go with Justin Cobbs, Jabari Bird, Tyrone Wallace, David Kravish and Richard Solomon, back after missing the final two games in Maui with a corneal abrasion. Solomon is wearing goggles — very Abdul-Jabbar like. Starting for UCI are Alex Young, Luke Nelson, Chris McNealy, Will Davis II and Mamadou Ndiaye.
WELCOME: I’m back at Haas Pavilion after Cal’s return from the Maui Classic. The Bears (5-2) face the Anteaters (5-3), who already own a 14-point road win over Washington.
The big attraction — literally — is Irvine’s 7-foot-6, 290-pound freshman center Mamadou Ndiaye. I saw him in the hallway outside the court as I arrived tonight, and the guy is huge.