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Basketball: Fresno State game thread

FINAL SCORE: Cal 67, Fresno State 56. Solomon finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds and the Bears (8-3) improved to 7-0 at home. Cobbs had 13 points, Wallace 12 and Kreklow 11 for the Bears, who return to action a week from Sunday at Creighton.

The win was the 665th of Mike Montgomery’s career, pushing him one past John Wooden into sole possession of 27th place on the all-time Division I list.

Cobbs had four assists to climb into seventh all-time at Cal with 397. Solomon shot 7 for 9 from the floor while the rest of his teammates combined to shoot 19 for 52.

3:50 2nd H: Solomon, already with 13 points and 13 rebounds, going to the FT line for a pair with Cal leading 56-47. The Bears had missed their past four FTs, but Solomon makes both and the lead is 58-47.

7:17 2nd H: A layup by Wallace off a steal and assist by freshman Sam Singer and the Cal lead is 52-42. Kravish and Solomon both have 10 rebounds.

11:20 2nd H: A fastbreak layup and free throw by Kreklow pushes Cal to a 43-35 lead, but it hasn’t been pretty. Cal shooting 39 percent, Fresno just under 30 percent. Kreklow has nine points, four rebounds and four assists. Solomon 11 points and nine rebounds.

15:13 2nd H: It didn’t figure that FSU’s Harris — who leads the team with an 18.4 ppg scoring average — would keep missing all day. He hasn’t. Scored on a dunk and 3-pointer on consecutive possessions and the Bulldogs are withibn 34-32. Cal looking fairly inept on offense right now. Five turnovers already in the half.

18:16 2nd H: Well, whatever was said at halftime didn’t change things much. At least for the Bears. Fresno has outscored Cal 6-2 to open the second half and trails just 30-27. For some reasons, James Harden still is here. Can’t imagine why. More understandably, Monty calls timeout.

HALFTIME: Cal 28, Fresno State 21. A ragged first half and one that won’t please Cal coach Mike Montgomery. The Bulldogs shot just 26.7 percent (8 for 30) and their top two scorers — Marvelle Harris and Cezar Guerrero — were a combined 0 for 12. Yet, this is still somehow a game. Cal made 4 of its first 6 shots, then just 8 of 28 the rest of the half for 35.3 percent. Solomon has nine points and six rebounds. No one else has been terribly dependable on offense.

3:57 1st H: Kreklow followed Cobbs’ 3-pointer with one of his own and Solomon flushed a follow dunk, stretching Cal’s lead to 22-10. Solomon has eight points and six assists, but now is resting. Cal up 24-15. FSU shooting 24 percent.

7:09 1st H: Hot early, Cal cooled also and Fresno State pulled within 14-10 before Cobbs just nailed a 3-pointer for a 17-10 lead. The Bears are making just 36.4 percent of their shots, but the Bulldogs continue to struggle at 25 percent. Watching from courtside: ex-Arizona State star and Houston Rockets guard James Harden.

10:51 1st H: Bears lead 12-4, but the margin could be much greater. Cal has made just 2 of its past 10 shots, but Fresno has been worse. The Bulldogs are 2 for 14 for the game.

15:51 1st H: Cal’s lead reached 8-0 before Johnson ended the drought for FSU with a driving layup at 16:10. Otherwise, the Bulldogs are taking lots of quick, perimeter shots. Cal 4 for 6 from the field, FSU 1 for 6. Ir’s 8-2 Cal.

17:40 1st H: Cal leads 6-0 after a fastbreak layup by Walplace and a Solomon dunk off a Wallace feed. Fresno St has two turnovers and two missed free throws.  

THE LOOK: Cal is wearing gray uniforms with dark blue numbers trimmed in gold. A sharp look for a weekend matinee.

LINEUPS: Cal shuffling its starting five again: Justin Cobbs, Tyrone Wallace, Ricky Kreklow, David Kravish and Richard Solomon. Fresno State welcomes back senior guard Tyler Johnson of Mountain  View, returning to the lineup after a four-game absence due to a foot injury. Completing the Bulldogs’ starting five are Cezar Guerrero, Alex Davis, Paul Watson and Marvelle Harris.

WELCOME: Back at Haas Pavilion for the Bears’ first weekend home game of the season. Cal (7-3) faces Fresno State (6-4) in a game that will tip off at 3 p.m. on the Pac-12 Networks.

Jeff Faraudo

  • Juancho

    The lack of posts and interest speaks volumes. And reinforces my position that unless were a top 25 program were not relevant.

    We support the team and students. But bc were not protecting a top 25 slot or playing for continued national spotlight, theres no urgency to watch or buy tickets.

    Alumni and students and bay area fans will continue to drive laclustre attendance until were a relevant national program again.

    This is the difference to me between a team that competes for the conference, versus a team that competes in the top 25 and has great tourney expectations.

    Monty is a great coach. So whats that piece thats missing ?

  • royfisherfan

    What’s missing is the old Haas, when the fans were on top of the opposing team. What’s missing is marketing to the locals, beyond the students and the alumni. What’s missing is a breakthrough win outside of the conference. What’s missing is an identity for the team, beyond being a bunch of good guys who compete fairly hard and play relatively sound basketball. What’s missing is the soul of the university, which seems more corporate as the in-state fees increase. What’s missing is support from an increasingly affluent Berkeley/Rockridge area that would rather compare notes on restaurant openings than go drink pitchers at La Vals, Kips, etc.

  • 707 Bear

    “Alumni and students and bay area fans will continue to drive laclustre attendance until were a relevant national program again.”

    Juancho:

    I assume your statement works for both hoops and football. Both venues are too big for our “normal year-in-year out” fan base.

    Nevertheless, I’ll be buying my season tickets next week. Hope springs eternal.

    Go Bears

  • Juancho

    707 if i could afford season tix i would.

  • Rob Bear

    We will have to play much better in conference play to be competitive. Kreklow and Solomon stood out tonight. Fresno State would finish in last in our conference.

    Get better Bears! We start conference play in a few weeks! WITH EXTREME PREJUDICE!

  • Eric

    A win at Creighton makes up for the bad loss at home. We lose at Creighton, we need to finish in the top 5 of the Pac-12 to have a shot at the tournament.

  • discdude

    Did you mean “bad” win at home? They haven’t lost at home this year, yet. A win at Creighton makes up for the bad loss on the road at UCSB.

    I agree, if they lose to Creighton, with the strength in P12 competition, they’ll need to win a lot of conference games. A strong start to conference play would also be a good idea, home against Furd, Oregons on the road, Washingtons at home. A 5-0 start there (not impossible) would be the way to start conference play strongly.

  • milo

    College hoops is still on the back burner as long as it’s football season, NFL or college. Add in that Cal isn’t a hoops school and you get what you have.

    Right now Cal is a second tier team in the Pac, behind the first tier: Arizona, Oregon, Colo, UCLA. Cal will be competitive in conference but is likely out of the top 3. Cal should be able to take 4th, maybe sneak into third. Hoops interest heats up around here mid-Jan, after most of the NFL playoff are done but realistically it’s after the super bowl.

    In conference it’s going how well Solomon and Kravish play and if Bird becomes a factor. Interesting studio analysis by the Pac12 team yesterday suggesting Monty is bringing Bird along slowly now but in conference he’ll let him loose and give him major minutes. Seems to make sense. If Bird can provide real scoring punch, could be a big boost.

  • Eric

    DD – yep, meant bad loss at UCSB.