Football: Bears headed Down Under to open 2016

The Cal football team will open its 2016 season against the University of Hawaii in Sydney, Australia. The game will be played at ANZ Stadium on August 27.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime type of experience for our student-athletes and an excellent opportunity to see and learn about another culture,” Bears coach Sonny Dykes said in a statement.

“It is a great day for college football and all the fans of our sport,” Dykes added. “It shows the popularity college football is gaining, and we’re ready to help further introduce the sport to many more fans.”

The game will be played in ANZ Stadium, which was originally constructed for the 2000 Sydney Olympics. The facility now holds 83,000 fans.

Scout.com first reported that Cal would open the season in Australia, although negotiations for the game have been under way for weeks. The game will be called the Sydney Cup.

The Bears’ game against Hawaii replaces the previously scheduled Sept. 3 game against South Dakota, a Football Championship Subdivision opponent. Cal will return from Sydney and have a bye before traveling to San Diego State on Sept. 10 and playing Texas in Berkeley on Sept. 17 to close out its nonconference schedule.

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Basketball: Cal loses again in Vegas, despite career high 27 points from freshman Jaylen Brown

Freshman Jaylen Brown scored 27 points but Cal struggled defensively in a 94-90 loss to Richmond in the third-place game of the Las Vegas Invitational.

The No. 14 Bears (4-2) are almost certain to drop out of the Top-25 after losing on consecutive nights at the Orleans Arena.

Defense certainly must be a concern at this point to coach Cuonzo Martin. Richmond scored 50 second-half points and the Bears have allowed 138 points the past three halves — an average of 46 per half.

Brown, coming off a seven-point effort against San Diego State in which he fouled out, hit 11 of 16 shots to score a career high.

But Terry Allen scored 34 points for the Spiders (4-2), including 11 of 12 from the free throw line. Richmond shot 31 for 39 at the line, as Cal committed 25 fouls. Another sure sign of defensive issues.

Cal was efficient enough on offense, converting nearly 54 percent of its shots and turning the ball over just eight times a night after it shot 37 percent with 15 giveaways.

Tyrone Wallace had 15 points, Ivan Rabb contributed 13 points and seven rebounds and Jabari Bird scored a season-high 12. Sam Singer scored 12 points off the bench, which provided the Bears 18 points.

Sharpshooting guard Jordan Mathews was just 1 for 8 from the floor and scored a season-low three points.


Cal returns to action Tuesday night at Haas Pavilion against Seattle, a Western Athletic Conference team with a 2-3 record.


Basketball: Second-half collapse dooms Cal vs. SDSU

Up 15 points less than 3 minutes into the second half, the Cal basketball team wilted under San Diego State’s pressure defense and lost its first game of the season, 72-58, in the semifinals of the Las Vegas Invitational on Thurday night at the Orleans Arena.

The 14th-ranked Bears (4-1), playing away from home for the first time, led 45-30 after Jordan Mathews made a jumper with 17:24 left.

The Aztecs (4-2) outscored them 42-13 the rest of the way.

Cal shot 0 for 5 and turned the ball over twice in seven possessions after mounting its biggest lead. On their next 26 times with the ball after going up 45-30, the Bears shot 3 for 17 from the field, 1 for 4 from the foul line and turned the ball over eight times.

Barely tested at home while starting 4-0 against overmatched opponents, Cal showed little toughness or poise when things went sideways against the Aztecs. Bad shots by the Bears led to easy run-out baskets by SDSU, and Cal could never string together enough defensive stops to give its offense a chance to regroup.

In Friday’s third-place game, the Bears face Richmond (3-2), a 67-59 loser to West Virginia in the other Vegas semifinal. The game tips off at 5 p.m. on FoxSports1.

Freshman forward Ivan Rabb had 19 points on 7-for-10 shooting and grabbed nine rebounds for the Bears. Senior guard Tyrone Wallace had 16 points and five rebounds, but also five of the Bears’ 15 turnovers.

Mathews shot 4 for 13 and scored 10 points.

Freshman Jaylen Brown, coming off back-to-back double-doubles, had seven points and three rebounds before fouling out. And Jabari Bird, who had scored at least 10 points in each of Cal’s first four games, shot just once and was scoreless.

Cal shot 37.5 percent and missed eight free throws. The Bears’ bench players were outscored 34-7.


Basketball: Golden Bears excited for Vegas trip

Appropriately, the main course of 14th-ranked Cal’s nonconference schedule will be served on Thanksgiving.

The Bears (4-0) cruised through their final pre-holiday appetizer, using career-high totals of 18 points and 11 rebounds from freshman Jaylen Brown to post an 89-63 win over Sam Houston State in front of an announced crowd of 8,492 at Haas Pavilion.

Rice, UC Santa Barbara, East Carolina and the Bearkats of Huntsville, Texas are all in Cal’s rear-view mirror.

Now the Bears find out if they’re deserving of all the early hype and their national ranking at the Las Vegas Invitational.

Cal faces San Diego State (3-2) in the Thursday semifinal of the Vegas event, tipping off at 9 p.m. on FoxSports1. The Bears will take on either West Virginia (4-0) or Richmond (3-1) on Friday.

“I think our guys are excited to play in Vegas,” Cal coach Cuonzo Martin said. “We have a good team — I know that. You have to still win games to measure yourself.”

For Brown and fellow freshman Ivan Rabb, Vegas will provide the stiffest tests of their young college careers.

“They’ll be ready for it,” Martin said. “You’re never ready for something you’ve never seen. Physically and skill-wise they’re ready. It’s part of going through it, but they won’t be afraid.”

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Basketball: Brown, Wallace lead Cal to easy win

Freshman Jaylen Brown had career-high totals of 18 points and 11 rebounds and No. 14 Cal eased past Sam Houston State 89-63 in front of an announced crowd of 8,492 fans at Haas Pavilion on Monday night.

The Bears (4-0) used a fastbreak-fueled 15-0 run late in the first half to take charge. Cal scored eight points in a span of 75 seconds to break open a 23-20 game.

Brown dunked a putback, then stole the ball and fed Tyrone Wallace for a fastbreak basket, before Wallace returned the favor with a steal and feed to Brown for a dunk. Wallace scored seconds later on a 2-on-1 break off a pass from Sam Singer.

The Cal lead reached 38-20 before the Bearkats (2-2) from the Southland Conference ended a 6½-minute drought.

Jordan Mathews also scored 18 points and Wallace had 17 points, seven rebounds and six assists.

Cal resumes play on Thanksgiving at the Las Vegas Invitational against San Diego State (3-2). The Bears will play Friday against either West Virginia (4-0) or Richmond (3-1).

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Basketball: Cal takes on Sam Houston State

The fifteenth-ranked Cal basketball team (3-0) take on the Sam Houston State Bearkats (1-2) on Monday night at Haas Pavilion. Tipoff is 8 p.m. on the Pac-12 Networks.

This is the Bears’ final tuneup before facing San Diego State and either West Virginia or Richmond on Thursday and Friday at the Las Vegas Invitational.

The Bearkats of the Southland Conference may not be much of a test. Their lone victory so far was a 114-92 win over St. Thomas, an NAIA program from Texas. Sam Houston opened the season with an 85-50 loss at SMU and, most recently, dropped an 86-81 overtime decision to Southern Illinois.

The Bearkats’ best player is Dakarai Henderson, a 6-foot-2 junior guard, who averages 20.7 points and has scored at least 17 in each game so far. Forward Aurimas Majauskas of Lithuania and guard Ameer Jackson each average 13.7 points.


Senior point guard Tyrone Wallace needs just seven points to move ahead of ex-teammate David Kravish and into the No. 20 spot on Cal’s career list. Wallace currently has 1,260 points, and is averaging 21.3 points through three games.


Football: Cal loses sixth straight Big Game

The Cal football team got what it wanted in the 118th Big Game – a chance to win. The Bears could not convert it in a 35-22 loss to Stanford on Saturday night.

Down just 21-16 entering the fourth quarter, the Bears could almost taste their first victory in the series since 2009.

“Guys were excited. You could look at everyone’s eyes and they believed we were going to win,” senior safety Stefan McClure said. “That was a moment we really trained all year for. Fourth quarter against Stanford with a chance to compete.”

Instead, it was Stanford that closed out the game, scoring touchdowns on consecutive possessions in the fourth quarter to leave the Bears frustrated by their own mistakes.

Quarterback Jared Goff was sharp for the Bears (6-5, 3-5 Pac-12), completing 37 of 54 passes for 386 yards and two touchdowns. Cal outgained Stanford 495 yards to 356. The Bears didn’t turn the ball over a year after giving it up five times.

The game was nothing like the previous two seasons, when the Bears were outscored 101-30. But there were issues that decided the outcome.

Cal converted just one of five red-zone chances for touchdowns – settling three times for field goals.

“We’re normally really good in the red zone. Today we weren’t,” Goff said. “Missed opportunities. Three scores that could have changed it.”

The Pac-12’s third-least penalized team, Cal was flagged eight times for 63 yards.

“There were a lot of little things,” Cal coach Sonny Dykes said in his opening post-game remarks. “The officials, er rather the penalties, killed us. Didn’t give us a chance to win the game. It was tough to overcome that.”

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Football: How Cal, Stanford match up

RECORDS: Cal is 6-4, 3-4 in Pac-12; No. 15 Stanford is 8-2, 7-1.

KICKOFF: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. at Stanford Stadium.

TV/RADIO: ESPN/810-AM & 1050-AM

SERIES HISTORY: Stanford leads 60-46-1. The Cardinal has won five in a row, including 38-17 last season.

STORYLINES: The combination of a Stanford victory or an Oregon loss would clinch the North division title for the Cardinal. … Stanford is No. 11 in the College Football Playoff rankings and must run the table to remain in the discussion for a semifinal berth. … This is the fifth consecutive season Stanford lost the game before facing Cal. … Stanford is 12-1 following a loss under coach David Shaw. ….Eligible to play in a bowl game for the first time since 2011, Cal will try to boost its standing among Pac-12 teams headed to the postseason. Bowls assignments are made on the basis of conference wins and Cal currently is tied for seventh. The Sun, Las Vegas and Cactus bowls have the Nos. 5 through 7 slots on the Pac-12 bowl ladder. The Bears could also slide to an at-large berth with a bowl that does not have a contract with the Pac-12. . . This could be the final Big Game for Cal junior quarterback Jared Goff, who will decide after the season whether to enter the NFL draft.

INJURY UPDATE: Cal: WR Kenny Lawler (buttocks), RB Daniel Lasco (ankle) and Saf Damariay Drew (knee) are questionable; Stanford: DT Harrison Phillips (knee) and CB Ronnie Harris (ankle) are out.

MATCHUP TO WATCH: Cal’s defense vs. Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey. The Bears are just two weeks removed from allowing Oregon a school-record 777 yards of total offense, including a whopping 477 on the ground. McCaffrey, one of the nation’s most versatile and prolific players, can carve them up if the Bears aren’t sharp. He leads the nation in all-purpose yards with 2,418 – already a Stanford record with two regular-season games to play – and has strung together eight straight 100-yard rushing games. Against the league’s other two elite backs – Oregon’s Royce Freeman and Utah’s Devontae Booker – the Bears surrendered 402 rushing yards.

CAL STATS THAT MATTER: Goff is 26 for 50 for 376 yards with two interceptions and two touchdowns in two games against Stanford. The Cardinal is the only team he’s faced in the Pac-12 against whom he hasn’t thrown two TDs in a game at least once. . . . . Goff has set 26 Cal records, including career passing yards (10,805) and touchdowns (83). . . . Cal is tied for fifth nationally with 24 turnovers gained, but has just six in the past five games. . . . The Bears are 0-8 against the Pac-12’s in-state schools the past three seasons.

STANFORD STATS THAT MATTER: The 201 points Stanford has scored against Cal the past five seasons are the most either team has rung up over any five-game stretch in Big Game history. . . . . Stanford leads the Pac-12 in third-down conversions (49.6 percent) and third-down defense (34.8). . . . Stanford is 6-0 this season in night games. . . .Stanford is third in the conference in rushing (225.1 ypg). Cal is ninth in run defense (199.1). . . . Quarterback Kevin Hogan is 32-10 as a starter.


Basketball: Cal overcomes shooting woes to topple ECU

Warts and all, it was a victory Cal coach Cuonzo Martin was happy to pocket.

The No. 15 Bears labored against East Carolina’s zone defense, shooting 3 for 23 from the 3-point arc and turning the ball over 15 times. They also missed 12 free throws and allowed the Pirates to stay close until pulling away for a 70-62 win in front of an announced crowd of 8,658 fans at Haas Pavilion on Friday night.

“I’d always like to be on the winning side of learning lessons rather than the losing side. You want this early,” Martin said.

Freshmen Ivan Rabb and Jaylen Brown each had double-doubles and senior Tyrone Wallace made four free throws in the final 40 seconds as the Bears held off the visitors from the American Athletic Conference.

“We just have to get better,” said Wallace, who finished with 20 points. “I think it’s good to be tested. Our shots weren’t falling. We faced a little adversity. But never once did we have our heads down.”

Rabb overcame foul trouble with post 14 points, 13 rebounds and five blocked shots, and Brown had 16 points and 10 rebounds. The Bears crushed the Pirates (2-1) on the boards, outrebounding them 45-26, including 19 offensive rebounds that led to 24 second-chance points.

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Basketball: Tyrone Wallace ratchets up his game

Cal senior point guard Tyrone Wallace says the improvement in his game this season is the result of the company he’s keeping.

With more talent around him — including standout freshmen Jaylen Brown and Ivan Rabb — Wallace says there is less pressure to carry the offense for the 15th-ranked Golden Bears.

“My confidence in all these guys is extremely high,” he said. “I may look better running the position. It’s because I don’t have to force. I can find guys who are open. It probably makes me look better.”

Teammate Sam Singer says Wallace isn’t giving himself enough credit.

“I’ve had to guard him the last few years in practice. As hard as it was last year . . . now, if he’s hitting his free throws and making his shot from the outside, he’s really hard to guard because he penetrates so well and is able to finish with either hand. I’ve seen a big improvement.”

Heading into play Friday night against East Carolina (2-0), Wallace was averaging 22.0 points and a Pac-12-best 7.5 assists for the 2-0 Bears — both way up from a year ago when he was an all-conference selection. An erratic shooter throughout his career, he was converting 68 percent from the floor and nearly 86 percent from the free throw line. His assist-to-turnover ratio: 7.5 to 1.

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