Basketball: Even without ailing Solomon, Bears cruise to win over Utah Valley in NIT

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Senior forward Richard Solomon, the Pac-12’s leading rebounder, sat out with a concussion, but Cal won its NIT opener, beating Utah Valley 77-64 in front of 1,862 fans at Haas Pavilion.

The second-seeded Bears (20-13) advance to a second-round game Monday against No. 3 seed Arkansas. Tipoff is 8 p.m. at Haas. Cal beat the Razorbacks 85-77 in the Maui Invitational back on Nov. 25.

Coach Mike Montgomery said he hopes Solomon can play Monday.

David Kravish had 14 points, 10 rebounds and equaled his career high with five blocked shots.

Justin Cobbs had 13 points and seven assists and freshman Jabari Bird, inserted into the starting lineup, responded with 11 points.

Freshman Jordan Mathews scored 13 off the bench and senior Jeff Powers had 10 points.

Holton Hunsaker scored 22 points for the Wolverines (20-12), regular-season champions of the Western Athletic Conference.


Jeff Faraudo

  • KC

    Nice work on getting a win and continuing the season, Bears. Nobody is happy about playing in the NIT but a lot of teams (St. John’s) come out and don’t play hard in first round and go home, and what fun is that…
    Might as well keep playing and the match ups get more interesting from here.
    Nice opportunity to finish the season on a bit of a more positive note and generate some momentum for next season.
    I’ll be there on Monday for game vs Arkansas.

  • Steve Fischer

    It’s nice to get a win- doesn’t matter against who at this point. Not many fans. Lets’see f we can beat Ark again.

  • Rollonubears

    Getting a free trip to NYC and a chance to play in MSG is a pretty big deal, and worth playing for. After tomorrow, they would have been out of the NCAA tourney, anyway, and we’d have been whining about it. At least now, we’re still playing. Plus, I finally got to see them on espn3 on my roku, which was awesome. They looked like crap in the first half though. Total street ball. It was great to see them settle down in the second half. Behrens looks like he’s actually going to be really good. All these guys need to eat more and lift weights and not walk into doors and stuff. I wonder if Sol was drunk. He’s not tall enough to hit a doorframe without ducking, is he? Our Kansas will be ready to play. Wish the game wasn’t at 11pm. Go Bears.

  • Rollonubears

    We need Archie Miller.

  • GoBears49

    Missed the game but I always complain about Cal playing street ball/gym rat. It’s my biggest complaint about Monty — he should put his foot down and ban that sort of thing. Glad to see a shout out for my man Behrens, who I think has a good deal of potential. I would rate him higher than Rooks at this point.
    Did Monty take my suggestion and play Wallace some at the post? Probably not, as they will need to practice that first. If Monty does that, and it works well, it could start a trend — a quick guy in the post who is too quick to be guarded by just one man (a big man if the other team is in a zone defense).

  • 707 Bear

    1862 fans….excellent estimate from yesterday…wondering what the attendance was from Cal’s last NIT appearance

  • BlueNGold

    I do not understand the scheduling of the NIT games. Five days between games, nothing scheduled over the weekend, and dismal attendance at the first round weekday game. I think these people are missing some good opportunities to give these teams exposure.

  • Steve Fischer

    My guess is that they know they can’t compete with the NCAA Tourney, the Regional Bowling Championships or re-runs of Duck Dynasty. There would be no exposure for NIT teams (except among some alum) if they played at the same time as an NCAA Game.

  • Juancho

    How about those San Diego State Golden Aztecs? Here’s hoping for a final four run for our brother Dan.

  • Juancho

    Cal needs to hire this wichita state coach.