No. 24 Cal rolls to big win over George Washington

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No. 24 Cal rolls to big win over George Washington

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BERKELEY -- Justin Cobbs delivered just what California coach Mike Montgomery wanted in his second game with his new team.Cobbs scored eight of his 16 points during a 21-0 run to end the first half and No. 24 California beat George Washington 81-54 Sunday night in the first round of the CBE Classic.Cobbs, a transfer from Minnesota, gives Montgomery the depth he knows he will need if the Golden Bears (2-0) are going to be successful this season"That's kind of what we expect from Justin," Montgomery said. "We think he's capable of doing that. His focus was really good. He came in and made a difference. That's really why we like him. We like him off the bench because he changes things. If we're not doing things or having problems, he has the ability to change things.Allen Crabbe led Cal with 21 points and Jorge Gutierrez added 15 as the Bears opened the season with back-to-back 20-point wins for the first time since 1995-96.Tony Taylor scored 20 points and Nemanja Mikic added 12 for the Colonials (1-1), who shot 38 percent to lose for the first time under new coach Mike Lonergan.The game got off to a sloppy, turnover-filled start before the Bears broke it open with their big, half-ending run. Gutierrez got it started with a jumper that gave Cal the lead for good at 20-19. Cobbs hit a pair of 3-pointers around another 3 from Crabbe to end the half with the Bears on top 39-19.Cobbs looked much more comfortable than he did in his debut for Cal when he scored four points Friday against IC Irvine."It's just getting my momentum going and getting a feel for the game and then making sure I'm being aggressive," he said. "Coaches are telling me be aggressive and make plays and that's what I tried to do instead of being so passive. I just came out with the mentality to be aggressive and try to make plays tonight."Cal extended the lead to 46-20 early in the second half as Crabbe hit another long-range shot before Taylor's basket ended a stretch of 15 straight misses from the field over a span of 9:13 on the clock for George Washington."I've never really been involved with a run quite like that," Lonergan said. "I tried calling a couple timeouts. I want to give them credit but our shot selection and different things really added to that run. We just lost our composure."The Bears coasted from there and even one of the few highlights for the Colonials came at a price. David Pellom had a breakaway dunk but was called for a technical foul for hanging on the rim midway through the half.Cal will play Austin Peay at home Tuesday in the second game of the tournament before going to Kansas City, Mo., next week to take on Georgia and either Notre Dame or Missouri. George Washington will play their final three games of the classic in Bowling Green, Ohio, next week.This was a short trip to California for the Colonials, who opened the season at home Friday night against Maryland-Eastern Shore, flew to the Bay Area on Saturday, played the game Sunday night and immediately left on a redeye flight home to get back for morning classes Monday."We were well prepared and focused, and I thought that was obvious because we came out ready to play," Lonergan said. "That doesn't mean anything but we were ready to play, and then we just kind of go crazy out there. I don't think the trip really had anything to do with this."Despite six turnovers in the first 9 minutes, George Washington took the lead on a 3-pointer by Taylor midway through the half and led 19-18 when Taylor hit another 3 as the shot clock ran down with 6:23 to go. The Colonials then missed their final 11 shots of the half and trailed by 20 at the break."At the beginning we were going real fast and had 10 turnovers early and that's crazy," said Cal freshman David Kravish, who had five points and nine rebounds. "Coach told us we were going too fast and were playing the game they wanted us to play and taking bad shots or whatever they wanted us to do. He told us to slow down, play our game and influence the way they play. That's what we did."

Hermanson scores 17, No. 22 Saint Mary's beats BYU 70-57

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Hermanson scores 17, No. 22 Saint Mary's beats BYU 70-57

PROVO, Utah — Saint Mary's knows all about the raucous atmosphere at BYU. The Gaels hadn't won in Provo since 2013 and had only come out on top in three of their previous 12 trips.

Make it four out of 13.

Calvin Hermanson scored 17 points and No. 22 Saint Mary's cruised to a 70-57 victory over BYU on Saturday night, snapping a three-game road losing streak to its West Coast Conference rival.

"It's definitely one of the tougher places to play for us," Hermanson said. "Coming in here we know it's a huge crowd and we know they can get riled up on any 3-point shot or any run they make. We wanted to try to limit their runs and their big plays.

"The second half was pretty unbelievable how quiet the crowd was. It felt great for us."

With two games remaining on the regular-season schedule, the Gaels (24-3, 14-2) clinched a second-place finish in the conference standings behind top-ranked and undefeated Gonzaga.

Saint Mary's controlled the game most of the night, riding its staunch defense on one end and running efficient offense on the other. The Gaels were able to get to the rim consistently, but also knocked down 10 3-pointers.

BYU (19-10, 10-6) shot 39.7 percent from the field and connected on four 3s.

Evan Fitzner had 15 points for Saint Mary's, including 11 in the second half.

"We didn't turn the ball over and we shot the ball well," Gaels coach Randy Bennett said, "and were able to get some separation and then it made it tough on them. We kind of just wore them out after that.

"We're a little different team with Fitzner out there. He spaces the floor," Bennett added. "We just play a little different with Fitzner out there versus Jock (Landale). It's nice to have a Plan A and Plan B."

Saint Mary's took a 41-30 lead into halftime thanks to Hermanson's hot shooting and plenty of that trademark defense. The Gaels began the day ranked second in the nation in scoring defense, then held the Cougars to 37.9 percent shooting from the field in the first 20 minutes.

Saint Mary's shot 57.1 percent at the other end, including a 3-for-4 effort from Hermanson from behind the arc.

"I feel like we're better than we showed tonight," BYU guard TJ Haws said. "That team made a lot of runs on us. Tough defensive and offensive team. Very poised and disciplined.

"I want our team to just fight. When they punch us in the face, I want us to punch them right back."

BYU kept Landale under control in the half — and in foul trouble throughout — but Saint Mary's scored 22 of its 41 first-half points in the paint.

Eric Mika had 18 points for BYU, and Yoeli Childs added 13.

"The key to the game was that they were comfortable the entire time in our gym," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "That's on us. We need to be ahead. We need to get them to speed up a little bit because they're a little bit uncomfortable.

"But the game went pretty much exactly how they wanted it to go and we couldn't flip it. We couldn't get on top."

BIG PICTURE

Saint Mary's: The Gaels will be the No. 2 seed in the WCC tournament. No. 1 Gonzaga secured the regular-season title Saturday with a win over Pacific. An early December defeat to UT-Arlington is the Gaels' only bad loss this season, with the other two coming against Gonzaga.

BYU: The Cougars likely needed a win against the No. 22 team in the country to make an argument for the NCAA Tournament off their regular-season credentials. BYU has lost all three games against ranked opponents by double digits, including to Saint Mary's twice, and doesn't have a signature win. The Cougars get one last chance against Gonzaga next Saturday.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

No. 22 Saint Mary's might find itself moving up a bit after No. 17 Florida State and No. 21 South Carolina lost on Saturday.

UP NEXT

Saint Mary's: Travel to face Pepperdine on Thursday.

BYU: Play at Portland on Thursday.

Pickens, Travis rally Stanford past rival Cal for upset win

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Pickens, Travis rally Stanford past rival Cal for upset win

BOX SCORE

STANFORD -- Dorian Pickens scored 23 points, Reid Travis had 19 with nine rebounds and Stanford held on to beat California 73-68 on Friday night.

Marcus Allen added 11 points for the Cardinal, who overcame an early 12-point deficit to beat their cross-bay rivals for the 21st time in the last 24 meetings between the two teams at Maples Pavilion.

Stanford (13-13, 5-9 Pac-12) won for only the second time in seven games and split the season series with California.

Pickens had nine points, including a pair of 3-pointers, as part of a 20-5 run in the second half when the Cardinal pulled away.

After California closed within 62-56 on Grant Mullins' 3-pointer with 4:54 remaining, Allen made two free throws and Pickens scored on a jumper from the free-throw line as he was falling backward onto the court.

Jabari Bird scored 23 points and set a career-high with seven 3s for the Golden Bears (18-8, 9-5). Ivan Rabb added 16 points and 13 rebounds after being slowed by foul trouble in the first half.