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Basketball: Ex-Cal star Christopher signs with Jazz

Patrick Christopher, a key player on the first Cal team in 50 years to win a conference championship, was signed as a free agent Wednesday by the Utah Jazz after a strong start to the season with the NBA D-League’s Iowa Energy.

Christopher, 26, averaged 12.7 points for his Cal career, including 15.6 as a senior in 2009-10 when the Bears went 24-11 and won their first conference title since 1960.

He was averaging 15.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists this season for the Energy. A 6-foot-5 wing, Christopher had had three 20-point games this season.

He also played for the Energy last season, averaging 13.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.2 assists, and earning second-team all-defensive team.

Previously, he spent the 2012-13 season playing professionally in Turkey and the 2011-12 campaign in France.

Christopher becomes the fourth former Cal player on an NBA roster this season, joining Ryan Anderson of the Pelicans, Jorge Gutierrez of the Nets and Allen Crabbe of the Trail Blazers.

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Women’s basketball: Cal duo on Naismith list

Cal seniors Brittany Boyd and Reshanda Gray both have been included on the 50-player Naismith Trophy watch list, announced by the Atlanta Tip-Off Club.

Cal is one of eight schools in the country with two nominees for the award.

Both were named to the preseason Wooden Award and Wade Watch Lists earlier this season. It is the second consecutive season that Boyd has been selected to the Naismith Trophy watch list.

Boyd is averaging 13.3 points, 7.1 rebounds, an NCAA-best 9.1 assists and 3.25 steals per game. She is the only player in the country to have registered two triple-doubles this season.

Gray leads the Bears with a 21.1 scoring average while adding 5.6 rebounds per game. She ranks No. 3 in the NCAA in field goal percentage at .677.

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Football Cal’s future schedules

Here are Cal’s future nonconference football schedules:

2015 – Grambling State Sept. 5; San Diego State Sept. 12; at Texas Sept. 19

2016 – South Dakota Sept. 3; at San Diego State Sept. 10; Texas Sept. 17

2017 – at North Carolina Sept. 2; Weber State Sept. 9, 1 TBA

2018 – North Carolina Sept. 1; at BYU Sept. 8; Idaho State Sept. 15

2019 – San Jose State Sept. 14, at Auburn Sept. 21, 1 TBA

2020 – TCU Sept. 5, Auburn Sept. 19, 1 TBA

2021 – at TCU Sept. 11, 2 TBA

2022 – 3 TBA

2023 – at San Jose State Sept. 16, 2 TBA

 

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Football: Cal, San Jose State agree to 2-game series

Cal and San Jose State, who have not met on the football field since 1996, have agreed on a two-game, home-and-home series, beginning in 2019 at Berkeley.

The Bears and Spartans will meet Sept. 14, 2019 at Memorial Stadium, then square off Sept. 16, 2023 at Spartan Stadium.

Cal owns a 29-6 all-time edge in a series that began in 1899. The Bears have won the past nine meetings, including their most recent matchup, by a 45-25 margin in San Jose in 1996, the only previous meeting of the two schools in San Jose.

The Spartans’ most recent victory in the series was by a 27-25 score in 1987.

“Anytime you can schedule a home-and-home series with a formidable local opponent it is good for both universities and their fan bases, as well as football fans in the area,” Cal coach Sonny Dykes said in a statement. “Cal and San Jose State both have football programs rich in tradition and history, and we are excited to have them returning to our schedule.”

SJSU athletic director Gene Bleymaier said the Spartans are “delighted” to resume the series. “These games are good for our program and good for fans of Bay Area college football,” he said.

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Basketball: Wallace ratchets up production as Bears anticipate being without Bird vs. Wyoming

The Bears (7-1) take on Wyoming (8-1) on Wednesday night at Haas Pavilion, once more expecting to play without sophomore guard Jabari Bird.

“He’s very doubtful for (Wyoming),” Cal coach Cuonzo Martin said on the eve of the 8 p.m. tipoff.

Bird, dealing with an undisclosed left foot injury, continues to be day-to-day, according to Martin, but has not practiced. This will be the third straight game he’s missed since a Nov. 30 win at Fresno State, where he shot 1 for 9 and scored four points, then disclosed he had pain in his foot.

Also likely out again is freshman guard Brandon Chauca, battling an ankle sprain.

The visiting Cowboys are a solid club, rated in the top-100 of the RPI, and feature a standout player with great genetics in senior forward Larry Nance Jr., son of the former NBA star.

Fortunately for Cal, which is opening a seven-game homestand that extends through the opening weekend of the Pac-12 schedule, junior point guard Tyrone Wallace has picked up the scoring slack.

Wallace, who on Monday was named Pac-12 Player of the Week for the second time this season, is averaging 24 points and 11 rebounds over the past three games.

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Football: Bears get commit from OLB/DE prospect

Cal got its 15th oral commitment when Cameron Saffle, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound outside linebacker/defensive end from Sammamish, Washington, accepted a scholarship offer, according to Scout.com.

Saffle, who played at Skyline High, is rated as a two-star prospect by Scout and Rivals. He played linebacker in high school, but said he may be moved to the defensive line in college.

Saffle also had offers from Air Force, Eastern Washington and Idaho, according to Rivals.

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Women’s basketball: Boyd is Player of the Week

Both Cal point guards were honored by the Pac-12 on Monday, as senior Brittany Boyd of the women’s team joined Tyrone Wallace as Players of the Week in the conference.

Boyd averaged a triple-double for two games, posting numbers of 11.5 points, 11.5 rebounds and 10.0 assists.

The Berkeley High grad had her second career double vs. Sacramento State, totaling 11 points, 19 rebounds and a school record-tying 16 assists. In a loss at Kansas on Sunday, Boyd had five steals to become the school’s career record-holder with 296.

She leads the nation in assists at 9.1 per game and is the only player in the country two triple-doubles.

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Basketball: Wallace is Pac-12 Player of Week again

Cal junior Tyrone Wallace was named Pac-12 Player of the Week for the second time this season after averaging 25.5 points and 11.5 rebounds in a pair of victories.

The 6-foot-5 point guard scored 26 of his career-high 29 points in the second half of Sunday’s 63-56 win at Nevada and had 22 points and a career-high 15 rebounds in a home win over Montana.

Wallace is averaging 19.3 points, 8.9 rebounds and 4.6 assists for the season.

The Bears (7-1), off to their best start since 2007-08, face Wyoming (8-1) at home on Wednesday. Tipoff is 8 p.m.

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Women’s basketball: Bears routed at Kansas

Expect the No. 10 Golden Bears to tumble in the rankings this week after a 62-39 loss at Kansas, their first of the season.

Cal (8-1) shot 24.2 percent for the game, just 18.2 percent in the second half.  The Jayhawks (7-2) led 36-20 by halftime.

Senior guard Brittany Boyd had 12 points, five steals, four rebounds and four assists to lead Cal. She set the all-time Cal steals mark with 296, surpassing Mazetta Garrett’s career total of 295 set during the 1979-84 seasons.

Cal had a season-low six assists. The Bears entered the game ranked second nationally at 23.6 assists per game.

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Basketball: Wallace, Bears rally past Nevada

I was not in Reno for the game today, but here’s a report:

FINAL: Cal 63, Nevada 56. Tyrone Wallace overcame a rough first half to score a career-high 29 points and lead the Bears’ comeback. Wallace was 1 for 9 from the field in the opening 20 minutes, but made 10 of 11 thereafter, to go with eight rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Wallace has scored at least 20 points the past three games and improved his season scoring average to 19.3 points.

Cal (7-1) is off to its best start since 2007-08.

The Bears got 11 points from David Kravish, making his 100th career start, his 96th in a row.

Cal played limited the Wolfpack (2-6) to 7 for 27 shooting in the second half. Nevada has lost six in a row.

The Bears played a clean game, turning the ball over a season-low three turnovers.

Christian Behrens contributed nine rebounds and Cal won despite getting just five points on 1 for 8 shooting from Jordan Mathews.

Nevada led 52-51 after a jumper by A.J. West with 4:34 left. But the hosts did not make another field goal the rest of the game, and the Bears outscored them 12-4 to close the game.

The Bears return home Wednesday to a face Wyoming (8-1), then remain at Haas to take on Princeton (3-6) on Saturday.

HALFTIME: Nevada 30, Cal 24

The Bears shooting 25 percent (7 for 28), including 1 for 9 by top scorer Tyrone Wallace.

All other stats are even: Rebounds are 20-20, turnover 3-3.

But Cal has missed at least four lauyps.

No Jabari Bird today, still out with a foot injury. Also not available is freshman guard Brandon Chauca, who was held out with an ankle sprain. Chauca gave the team a lift in his college debut Wednesday against Montana, contributing eight points and six assists.