Senior California power forward Harper Kamp moved ever closer to a big career milestone on Thursday night in Los Angeles, pouring in 18 points to reach 999 for his career, while pulling down two rebounds to give him 495 career boards, as the Bears rolled past last-place USC in a 75-49 win.
"We started playing hard in the second half. I don't think we played hard enough in the first half," said head coach Mike Montgomery. "Harper shot the ball, well. He was successful at being the second post, down low. He was a huge part of that strong second half. Maurice Jones is awfully skilled for a player of his size. You have to give him credit. He can get points, down low, and he can take that deep shot. Because of SC's small lineup, Robert [Thurman] was negated a bit, but he showed up in the second half."
Playing in front of a large contingent of family and friends, Los Angeles native Allen Crabbe scored a game-high 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting, while Kamp hit 9-of-11 from the floor, fueling a 55.7-percent shooting night for Cal (19-6, 9-3 in Pac-12).
The Trojans (6-19, 1-11) shot a dismal 33.9 percent from the floor and were out-rebounded 41-28 by the Bears, as true freshman David Kravish pulled down a career-high 18 boards -- more than the top three USC rebounders combined.
Cal sophomore point Justin Cobbs added 10 points for the Bears, who outscored USC 40-20 over the final 20 minutes.
Jones led USC with 17 points, but shot just 1-for-4 from three, failing to repeat his performance in Berkeley during the teams' last meeting. Guard Byron Wesley added 11.
"When Mo is not in, we don't function well. It's difficult for us," said Trojans head coach Kevin O'Neill. "We're asking too much of Mo. We're asking too much of all the guys. It's incumbent on them to make an impression going down the stretch and to try their hardest."
Fueled by hometown support, Crabbe opened the game by hitting his first five shots to account for 11 of Cal's first 17 points.
"The game was decided in the first five minutes of the second half," O'Neill said.
After Crabbe carried Cal in the first half, Kamp took over coming out of break, scoring 12 points on 6-of-6 shooting during one stretch.
"We played a good first half, and gave ourselves a chance, but we wore down a bit, in the second half. It's a results of our makeup, right now," said O'Neill. "It's a tough situation for the players. My feelings go out to them. They're frustrated. It comes with losing. We have a circumstance that isn't changing. We have to do a better job of putting two good halves of basketball together. Cal is a good team, a veteran team."