* 1 p.m. Saturday at Haas Pavilion (Pac-12 Networks)
There will be no hiccup Saturday afternoon at Haas Pavilion, senior forward Richard Solomon promised.
The Bears (13-4, 4-0 Pac-12), riding a five-game overall win streak, take on a Washington State squad (8-9, 1-4) struggling to put points on the board without injured leading scorer DaVonte Lacy.
“We’re not overlooking anybody,” Solomon said. “We’re going to come out with the same intensity. If we’re supposed to beat them, that’s how we’re going to play.
“Anybody can beat anybody in this league. We understand that.”
The Cougars beat Utah at home last weekend, then were pounded 80-48 at Stanford on Wednesday night while Cal was running away from Washington, 82-56.
“We’re just playing hard,” Solomon said after the UW game. “It started on the defensive end. We’re trying to move the ball on offense, just trying to come together and be the best we can be. We have a high ceiling.”
So the Bears can be better still?
“There’s always room for improvement,” forward David Kravish said.
Coach Mike Montgomery was pleased with his team’s execution against the Huskies.
“I thought the kids really understood the game plan defensively. They did a really good job,” he said, alluding to the fact that Washington shot just 30 percent. “Our big guys are causing people some problems inside. They beat us at point of attack a time or two, and with David and Richard in there, it’s a little discouraging.”
Meaning for the Huskies, who had seven shots blocked, four of them by Kravish.
The Cougars had similar difficulties inside against Stanford’s size. Six WSU frontcourt players combined to score two points on 1-for-15 shooting in 77 minutes against the Cardinal.
WSU clearly is at a loss without Lacy (17.7 ppg), who is out with a rib injury on the heels of having an emergency appendectomy late last month.
The Cougars have reached 50 points just once in five Pac-12 games, averaging 41.5 in the other four. They scored just 25 in a 35-point loss to No. 1 Arizona.
In those four games, WSU is converting 32.2 percent of its shots, including just 26.3 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.
In the absence of Lacy, Que Johnson is trying to pick up the slack for the Cougars. The 6-foot-5 freshman guard scored 21 at Stanford and averages 13.2 in the Pac-12. But in those five games he has 15 turnovers and just one assist.
Having tied former Oregon State coach Slats Gill on Wednesday for third on the all-time list for conference victories with 276, Montgomery stands one victory shy of moving even with Lou Campanelli for third on Cal’s list for overall coaching victories at 123.
Montgomery, midway through his sixth season at Berkeley, is 122-63. Campanelli coached the Bears through the middle of his eighth season, ending in 1993, and compiled a record of 123-108.