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Basketball: Powers’ big day lifts Bears

By Jeff Faraudo
Saturday, December 28th, 2013 at 4:53 pm in Basketball, Gameday.

Senior Jeff Powers scored a career-high 18 points on 6-for-7 shooting from the 3-point arc and Cal closed out its nonconference schedule with a 90-60 rout of Furman at Haas Pavilion.

Powers had scored just two points in Cal’s previous 12 games and was 0 for 2 from the 3-point arc. But he sparked the Bears’ 10-for-21 effort from beyond the arc with the best performance of his college career.

“I can’t put into words how it felt, but that was pretty special,” Powers said. “I haven’t done anything like that since high school. I made the shots I took so that was pretty fun. I enjoyed it, and we got the win.”

Justin Cobbs and Tyrone Wallace added 18 points each for the Bears (9-4), who open Pac-12 play next Thursday night at Stanford. Cobbs and Wallace combined to shoot 17 for 23.

“It was just what the doctor ordered. We needed some feel good. We kind of got beaten down here lately with Ricky (Kreklow) and Jabari [Bird] going down,” Cal coach Mike Montgomery said.

After a decisive loss at Creighton a week earlier, Montgomery said,  ”We needed some positive reinforcement to feel a bit better about ourselves. That’s what tonight provided for us.”

The Bears converted  60.7 percent from the field and had a season-low five turnovers.

Richard Solomon overcame early foul trouble to provide 10 points and 12 rebounds. Freshman Jordan Mathews scored 10 points.

The Bears played without freshman guard Jabari Bird, who was on the bench in street clothes with a protective boot on his sprained right ankle, and junior guard Ricky Kreklow, sidelined at least another month with a broken hand.

“It’s going to be tough. It’s going to be hard. Ricky is one of our smarter, tougher, more cerebral players. Bird is talented. Obviously we don’t have them,” Montgomery said. “We can’t afford to give up another guy. We had those two guys as our starting threes and Ricky was our backup four, and now we don’t have that.

“We’re having to go to different players. If I can get 18 from Jeff every night, we’ll be just fine.”

Furman’s Stephen Croone, who scored 40 points in his most recent game, had 11 on 5 for 17 from the field.

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  • DRW

    I was at the game. Jeff Powers had a career shooting moment! Six for seven from three point land is cosmic; albeit the defense was lax. And so was Jeff’s for that matter.
    This is not to take away anything from the team…Justin, et al., had superb plays! Individual highlights abounded.
    Stanford will not extend the same courtesies you had today. Prepare. Free throws count down the stretch. Expect to be hammered all over the court. Plan accordingly.
    Great potential.

  • Rob Bear

    Get healthy Bears. A given win yesterday. Powers – I hope you can do something similar in conference play when we will need it. BEAT STANFORD!

  • Eric

    Happy for Powers. Having a Vinny Johnson coming off the bench to stretch the defense would be a great.

    On a football note, congrats to the following Cal folks who will be playing big minutes in the NFL playoffs:

    Aaron Rodgers (now that is a way to make a comeback and thanks for giving Chris Conte an INT gift)

    DeSean Jackson (in celebration of last night’s game, I watched Silver Linings Playbook)

    Mychal Kendricks (how much love was Chris Collinsworth giving him last night)

    Marvin Jones (having a huge year)

    Keenan Allen (should be the offensive rookie of the year)

    Cameron Jordan (rock solid year)

    Marshawn Lynch (beast mode with a ring?)

    Brandan Mebane (unsung hero on the defense)

    Shane Vereen (the second most valuable player on the Patriot’s offense this year)

  • Juancho

    All those guys top recruits.