Dec. 29, 2009
BERKELEY, Calif. - Patrick Christopher and Jerome Randle combined for 48 points as host Cal defeated UC Santa Barbara 87-66 in the championship game of the Golden Bear Classic on Tuesday night.
After the Gauchos' Will Brew opened the game with a three-pointer from the right side, the Golden Bears went on a 14-0 run to take a commanding 14-3 lead just five minutes into the game.
Cal (8-4) remained hot for the much of the first half, taking a 43-19 lead on a pull-up jumper by Theo Robertson with 4:12 to play.
The Gauchos (5-5), however, outscored Cal 13-6 the rest of the half to trim the lead to 49-32. Will Brew and his brother Chris, who both graduated from Berkeley's St. Mary's High School, combined for 11 of UCSB's final 13 points.
The Golden Bears shot 60.0% in the first half and also outrebounded the Gauchos 23-10. Christopher made 8-of-12 shots and had 19 points at the break.
"They (Cal) really jumped on us early and I thought we were a little like a deer in the headlights," said UCSB head coach Bob Williams. "Randle and Christopher were really good. They set the tone in the first half."
Christopher opened the second half with a resounding slam dunk off a lob pass from Robertson, but the Gauchos responded on a double-pump jumper in the lane by Orlando Johnson.
The teams traded baskets for much of the early second half and a dunk by Greg Somogyi pared the Golden Bears' lead to 67-50, but consecutive long three-pointers by tournament Randle bumped the edge back to 73-50. The lead topped-out at 81-57 on a lay-up by Markhuri Sanders-Frison with 5:14 left.
A pair of jumpers by Somogyi, three free throws by James Nunnally and a slam dunk by Chris Brew keyed a 9-2 UCSB run that carved Cal's lead to 83-66 with 1:41 to play, but the Golden Bears scored the final four points of the game to achieve the final score of 87-66.
Johnson paced the Gauchos with a double-double, scoring 17 points and passing off for 10 assists. He also had seven rebounds and three blocked shots. Somogyi had a season-high 12 points and a career-high eight rebounds in his 21 minutes. He also had three blocked. Nunnally also had 10 points for Santa Barbara.
"O.J. (Johnson) was good tonight," Williams said. "He wasn't great offensively, but he saw the open man and made some good passes on his drives. Somogyi was also good. He was aggressive and played with confidence. That's important for him."
As a team, Cal made 55.7% of its shots overall, including 9-of-17 from beyond the three-point arc, 52.9%. UCSB hit just 41.0% from the field overall, but 42.1% from three-point range, 8-for-19. The Golden Bears easily won the battle of the boards, 45-25, but the Gauchos had just 10 turnovers.
The Gauchos will return to the court on Saturday, Jan. 2 when they travel to UC Irvine to open Big West play against the Anteaters at 7:00 p.m. They will remain on the road to play at UC Riverside on Monday, Jan. 4 at 7:00 p.m.
UCSB will play its first conference home game when it hosts UC Davis on Friday, Jan. 8 at 8:00 p.m. The game against the Aggies will tip-off at 8:00 p.m. to accommodate ESPNU which will televise the game..
To purchase tickets, please call (805) 893-UCSB, visit the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or click here.
For years, the Gauchos have been exciting crowds in the Thunderdome. Through the years, legends were made in the `Dome. Now, five former UCSB standouts are being saluted as "Legends of the Dome." The first legendary women's volleyball star, Roberta Gehlke, was unveiled Oct. 19, 2009. The first men's basketball legend will be unveiled on Jan. 23 before a 7:00 p.m. game against Cal State Fullerton. Three other legends will be introduced this year. The second men's hoops legend will be unveiled prior to UCSB's 4:00 p.m. Feb. 13 game against Long Beach State. Women's basketball legends will be honored on Feb. 11 before a 7:00 p.m. game against UC Riverside, and on Feb. 27 before a 2:00 p.m. Blue-Green Rivalry Series game against Cal Poly.
All men's basketball games are broadcast live on AM 1490 KIST and available for free online via audio streaming. Fans from all over the world can also hear the Gauchos' online by clicking here.