Cal Stays Perfect; Downs Missouri 86-72
Dec. 1, 2007
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) -- Patrick Christopher scored 11 of his 18 points in the second half and California fought back in the final 20 minutes to preserve its perfect record, beating Missouri 86-72 on Saturday night as part of the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series.
Ryan Anderson added 15 points, 11 rebounds and made all seven of his free throws for the Golden Bears (5-0), off to their best start since winning the first seven games in the 1994-95 season.
DeVon Hardin had 16 points and 12 boards as Cal spoiled the Tigers' first trip to the West Coast since playing at Gonzaga nearly four years ago -- and 19 pro scouts came out to see this matchup.
Tigers leading scorer Stefhon Hannah had 14 points and nine assists before fouling out with 1:47 left. He averaged 20.8 points on 53 percent shooting over his previous four games.
Matt Lawrence hit five of his team's seven first-half 3-pointers, but Mizzou (5-3) couldn't keep up its torrid offense in the second half after shooting 65 percent on the way to a 45-37 lead at the break. But Lawrence missed all four of his shots in the second half and didn't score until a pair of free throws at 3:10. The Tigers went 10-for-30 in the second half.
DeMarre Carroll added 14 points for the speedy, athletic Tigers, who went away from their full-court man press in the second half after getting results with it early.
Christopher scored seven straight points to get the Bears back within 56-54 with 12:26 to play, and Cal drew an offensive foul on Keon Lawrence on the other end during the stretch.
Nikola Knezevic's driving layin at 9:02 gave Cal its first lead since scoring the first points of the game, 64-63, and Jerome Randle swished a 3 the next time down. Knezevic also converted a three-point play with 6:53 to go.
Missouri made eight of its first 13 shots and forced Cal into six turnovers in the first 7 1/2 minutes on the way to a 20-9 lead. Matt Lawrence hit back-to-back 3s during an 8-0 spurt.
It was a good matchup in the paint with Missouri's Leo Lyons and Hardin, who got plenty of support from freshman Harper Kamp with 11 points and four boards. He shot 5-of-6 at the free-throw line and Cal was 26-for-29 overall.
Lyons picked up his first foul only a minute into the game, then Hardin fouled him on the other end moments later on a made basket. Lyons drew another foul on Hardin with a three-point play at the 14:32 mark.
The Tigers, coming off a 94-91 loss at Arkansas on Wednesday, were outboarded 17-8 in the first half but didn't miss many shots and Cal had several tipins.
Randle, the Bears' point guard in his third game back after missing time following a kidney biopsy Oct. 29, committed five first-half turnovers but took better care of the ball when it mattered most.
The Bears began the game 3-for-11 but still shot 48 percent in the half -- yet Missouri made 65 percent of its chances in the opening 20 minutes (17-for-26).
Mizzou leads the all-time series 3-2 but this was the first meeting since the Bears won 64-63 on Dec. 2, 1986.