No. 24 Cal moves to 6-1 with win over McNeese State

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No. 24 Cal moves to 6-1 with win over McNeese State

BOX SCORE
BERKELEY -- Jorge Gutierrez scored a season-high 26 points to go with six rebounds and five assists, and No. 24 California matched its best start under coach Mike Montgomery with a 73-57 victory over McNeese State on Monday night.Allen Crabbe had 20 points and six rebounds and Harper Kamp scored 10 for the Golden Bears (6-1), who overcame a shaky first half before opening an 18-point lead. Cal also started 6-1 in Montgomery's first year in 2008.Patrick Richard had 18 points and Dontae Cannon scored 15 for the Cowboys (3-3), going 1-1 on a rare West Coast trip. The defending Southland Conference champions beat Sacramento State two days earlier.The Bears stumbled at the start with a rare lack of hustle against an overmatched opponent.McNeese State's 2-3 zone gave Cal fits, and the small school from Louisiana sucked all the energy out of an already quiet - and half-empty - Haas Pavilion for what was supposed to be a tune-up test for the home team.Instead, it almost became an upset.The Cowboys opened with an 8-2 lead capped by Cannon's jumper, diving for loose balls and running into the stands at one point to save a steal. Not until Kamp's jumper more than 7 minutes into the half did Cal take its first lead at 10-8.McNeese State regained the lead and held firm until the buzzer.With the clock ticking down, Gutierrez snatched a defensive rebound and sprinted up court, almost losing his balance until flinging a pass from behind his head at half court to Crabbe on the wing. Crabbe rose up near the Cowboys bench and sunk a 3-pointer as time expired, giving the Bears a 28-26 halftime lead and bringing fans to their feet in the loudest ovation of the night.Everything reverted to form from there.The Bears bolted out on a 10-2 run in the second half highlighted by Richard Solomon's three-point play, converting a layup as he was fouled by Cannon. Cal eventually went ahead 55-37, the Cowboys sliced the deficit before the Bears took control again.Montgomery still won't feel satisfied about his Bears shaky shooting and defense.The play seemed awfully similar to Cal's 92-53 loss at No. 13 Missouri last week - with the Tigers then-ranked 21st - before returning home to beat Denver. While the Bears can sneak by in the early going on talent, they'll need more complete performances if they expect to challenge for the Pac-12 title.McNeese State's West Coast trip also included a stop at Sacramento State, where the Cowboys gave coach Dave Simmons his 100th career coaching victory two days earlier. McNeese State overcame a 17-point halftime deficit before rallying for a 68-63 victory at Sacramento State.The finish at Berkeley had far less drama.

Ex-Warriors, Kings coach withdrawns from consideration for Cal job

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AP

Ex-Warriors, Kings coach withdrawns from consideration for Cal job

BERKELEY — Nevada coach Eric Musselman said Wednesday he has withdrawn his name for consideration for the coaching vacancy at California, committed to continuing to build the Wolf Pack program after the school's first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2007 in his second season.

Musselman's team captured the Mountain West Conference regular-season crown and tournament title, a program first. The Wolf Pack lost in the first round of the NCAAs to fifth-seeded Iowa State last week as a No. 12 seed to finish 28-7. While he originally signed a five-year contract through the 2019-20 season, Musselman is working to finalize a new five-year deal that would keep at the school for the long haul.

"My family and I are so excited about Nevada," he said in a text message to The Associated Press. "I love our players and the bond we have created as a team and on campus and in the community."

The 52-year-old Musselman interviewed in Berkeley for the Cal opening to replace Cuonzo Martin, who resigned from the Golden Bears last Wednesday and was named Missouri's new coach the same day. Martin was formally introduced Monday.

Cal is not announcing the names of anyone brought in to interview for the head coaching vacancy.

Cal's Ivan Rabb declares for NBA Draft, plans to finish education

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AP

Cal's Ivan Rabb declares for NBA Draft, plans to finish education

BERKELEY — California star Ivan Rabb will declare for the NBA draft, a move that has been expected since the season began.

The sophomore star announced his decision Wednesday through the school. He says, "After careful consideration and discussion with my family, I have decided to forego my remaining NCAA eligibility and enter the NBA draft."

While Rabb says the timing is right to turn his attention to a professional career, he plans to finish school eventually — a promise he made to himself and his mother.

The 6-foot-11 sophomore forward was Cal's second-leading scorer at 14.0 points and top rebounder averaging 10.5 boards for the Golden Bears, who lost to Cal State Bakersfield in the first round of the NIT last week without him. Rabb was listed out with a foot injury.

Former coach Cuonzo Martin resigned the next day to become Missouri's new coach.