Berkeley, CA (Sports Network) - A pair of non-conference teams seeking a
seventh win in eight opportunities take the floor in Berkeley on Sunday as the
California Golden Bears entertain the 21st-ranked UNLV Runnin' Rebels at Haas
Up until last weekend the Golden Bears were flying high with their unblemished
record after six games, but then a meeting with Wisconsin on the road changed
all that as California suffered an awkward 81-56 setback. Had the team managed
to slip by the Badgers, it would have marked the first time since 1959 that
Cal had kicked off a campaign with seven straight wins.
As for the Runnin' Rebels, they too have won six of their first seven games of
the new season, their defeat coming at the hands of Oregon (83-79) back on
Nov. 23. Since then the squad has ripped off four straight victories, the
latest coming against Portland on the road Tuesday in a 68-60 final.
The Runnin' Rebels lead the all-time series between the teams by a count of
4-1, taking the most recent meeting last season at the Thomas & Mack Center,
85-68 a couple days before Christmas.
Against Portland Mike Moser did not suit up, still nursing a hip injury, and
Anthony Bennett got into early foul trouble, which is why the score ended up
being as close as it was. UNLV trailed by six points at the break and then
opened up the offense a bit more in the second half, but it was a 13-1 scoring
edge at the charity stripe over the final 20 minutes that put the visitors
into the win column. Bennett scored 18 points, Anthony Marshall 16, while
Justin Hawkins came off the bench to offer up another 15 points for a team
that shot a mere 35.5 percent from the floor and 6-of-25 beyond the arc.
Should Moser again be out of action on Sunday, Bennett (18.7 ppg, 7.6 rpg) and
Marshall (10.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg) will have to make up for his presence in the
paint where he is generating 12.3 ppg and 9.2 rpg. Certainly the fact that the
Rebels have as many as five players on the roster averaging double-digit
scoring can go a long way in compensating for a lost piece of the puzzle.
California didn't appear to be ready to play the Badgers at all last week, the
visitors making a total of just 10 field goals in the first half and missing
their lone 3-point attempt over the 20-minute span. The second half saw the
Bears make just eight field goals, preventing any chance of the team making it
competitive. Allen Crabbe managed to come up with 25 points and seven
rebounds, while Justin Cobbs tacked on 11 points, while being charged with
seven of the unit's 23 turnovers. One of the top point producers in the
country at this early stage of the season, Crabbe is pouring in 22.4 ppg on
the strength of 52.5 percent accuracy from the field and 43.2 percent effort
beyond the arc. As someone who is responsible for close to six rebounds per
game, Crabbe is no stranger to physical play either, and has responded by
connecting on all but five of his 40 free-throw attempts. Cobbs (18.7 ppg) is
also a precise shooter from the floor (.589) and at the charity stripe (.891)
as the pair accounts for more than half of the team's 72.0 ppg right now.
The Sports Network