Pepperdine (0-1) at California (1-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, November 13, 9:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Haas Pavilion (11,877) -- Berkeley, California. Television: Pac-12 Network. Home Record: Pepperdine 0-0, Cal 1-0. Away Record: Pepperdine 0-1, Cal 0-0. Neutral Record: Pepperdine 0-0, Cal 0-0. Conference Record: Pepperdine 0-0, Cal 0-0. Series Record: California leads, 1-0.
GAMES NOTES: Golden State foes square off in Berkeley on Tuesday night, as the Pepperdine Waves come calling on the California Golden Bears.
The Waves did not fare well in their first game of the season. A team that is struggling with injuries, Pepperdine played only eight players and despite leading by double digits in the second half, failed to hang on en route to an 81-75 loss on the road to CS Northridge. That is not the type of start a team that is trying to earn its first winning season since 2005 wants. Pepperdine will play its home opener when it tangles with another Pac-12 squad, Washington State, on Friday.
Allen Crabbe and Justin Cobbs certainly showed how vital they are for California, as the two guards combined to score 49 points in the Golden Bears' 78-65 win over CS Bakersfield in the season opener. Only five other players scored in the contest, with none reaching double digits. The duo's production is nothing new as it fueled the team's 24-10 NCAA Tournament squad a year ago. California plays it's first true road game this Friday at Denver.
It was California that won the only previous meeting between these two teams, taking a 61-58 decision during the 2004-05 campaign.
Pepperdine led 54-41 with 13 minutes remaining against CS Northridge, but couldn't hang on down the stretch in falling victim to a 17-3 run over the next six minutes. The Waves were also done in by a 20-8 discrepancy in points from the charity stripe in the second half, as well as the 23 turnovers they committed in the game.
Despite getting point guard Lorne Jackson back from an ACL tear last season, the Waves are still dealing with injuries. Although the three players that are out (Austin Mills, Malte Kramer and Jan Maehlen) were not contributors last season, it has left head coach Marty Wilson without much in the way of value on the bench. Jackson will clearly be the focal point of the offense, but he looked rusty coming off the injury against the Matadors as he shot just 3- of-13 overall, including a 1-of-9 effort from three-point range. Thanks to his ability to get to the free-throw line (9-of-10), he finished with a team-high 16 points, but his six turnovers matched his number of assists. Jordan Baker (9.0 ppg) fit nicely into the starting lineup, and he scored 21 points on 7- of-11 shooting, including 4-of-6 from beyond the arc. However like Jackson, Baker failed to hold on to the ball consistently with five turnovers. Up front, Stacy Davis (9 points, 6 rebounds) and Jett Raines (11 points, 5 rebounds) played the bulk of the minutes.
Led by the Crabbe and Cobbs, the Golden Bears got out to a big halftime lead (45-28) against CS Northridge and then held on in the second half to capture the double-digit win. Despite the strong scoring out of the backcourt, the Golden Bears were guilty of 18 turnovers which took something away from the team's effective shooting (.527).
It was no surprise that Cal's dynamic duo took control of the offense, as well as most of the shots. Crabbe (15.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg) and Cobbs (12.6 ppg, 5.0 apg) were the two leading scorers on the roster a season ago and with both Jorge Gutierrez (13.0 ppg) and Harper Kamp (11.6 ppg) gone, the pair have taken on even more responsibility. Although they did not score much, Richard Solomon and David Kravish both played well in the frontcourt, with each capturing nine rebounds while Kravish protected the rim with three blocks. Solomon averaged almost as many points (6.0 ppg) as rebounds (6.2 rpg) last season, but played in only 13 games. Kravish (6.9 ppg, 5.6 rpg) started 24 games and was one of five players to average at least five rebounds per contest. Another carry-over from last season was the Golden Bears' success shooting the ball against CS Bakersfield. Last season, Cal ranked at the top of the Pac-12 and 20th nationally in field goal percentage (.476), and also finished 12th in the country in assists (15.9 pg).
Clearly Cobbs and Crabbe have picked up right where they left off last season. With such strong guard play, the Golden Bears should be able to run against a Pepperdine team that lacks talent and depth.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: California 79, Pepperdine 61
11/13 10:44:58 ET