BERKELEY -- There was no score for the first 2:34 of California's Saturday-afternoon game against Denver, and for much of the first half, the No. 20 Bears played down to the level of their opponent, showing up as ineffectively as they did last week against then-No. 21 Missouri. There were bad passes, ill-advised shots and a general malaise on offense, as Cal committed four turnovers and shot just 5-of-13 (38.5 percent) from the floor.
Then, the light turned on. Sophomore guard Justin Cobbs came in and kick-started the dormant offense, scoring 10 points in 16 minutes off the bench, as the Bears finished the half shooting 15-of-29 (51.7 percent) from the field, largely thanks to the sharp shooting of Cobbs (3-of-3 from the floor, 2-of-2 from three, 2-of-2 from the free-throw line) and sophomore wing Allen Crabbe.
Cobbs and Crabbe teamed up to do the bulk of the work on the perimeter, as the two combined to go 4-for-5 from beyond the arc, pushing Cal to a 38-22 halftime lead.
Crabbe's shot was not falling early, as he missed two of his first three attempts from the field before hitting his next four in a row after Cobbs entered to help share the scoring load. Crabbe finished the first half with a game-high 12 points, and supplemented his scoring with a game-high nine-rebound performance, putting him on double-double watch as the Bears enter the second half.
Sophomore big man Richard Solomon looked as aggressive as he's been all year, swatting away two blocked shots and pulling down five rebounds while scoring four points in 15 minutes.
The Bears have recorded 10 points off of turnovers and 14 in the paint, far out-pacing the Pioneers' eight in the paint and four off of turnovers.