Powe Has Banner Night As Cal Downs UC Irvine
BERKELEY, Calif. - Freshman Leon Powe had a career-high 27 points and 11 rebounds to lead California to a 65-57 victory over UC Irvine on Wednesday night in the first meeting between the schools in three years.
Powe, widely considered one of the top recruits in the country coming out of nearby Oakland Tech High School, was 9-for-12 from the field and 9-of-13 from the free throw line. He is leading the team in scoring and rebounding.
The 6-foot-8, 245-pound Powe had two dunks and two putbacks in the first half, scored seven straight points during one stretch and eight in a row in another run just before halftime.
Cal (2-2), which starts three freshmen and a sophomore, shot a season-best 45 percent.
Stanislav Zuzak had 18 points for Irvine (2-3), but was held to only five in the second half as Cal increased its defensive pressure and went hard to the glass for rebounds. The 6-11 Zuzak got in foul trouble and had just one rebound.
Jeff Gloger had eight points, seven rebounds and six assists for the Anteaters, who couldn't hold an early lead. They have lost two straight, both to the Bay area Pac-10 schools, including a 72-59 defeat by Stanford at home on Nov. 25.
Cal used a 9-0 run midway through the second half to take the lead for good and Ayinde Ubaka's 3-pointer with 6 minutes left made it 50-45. Ubaka, also a freshman from Oakland, made another big jumper with 4:03 left and finished with 12 points. Marquise Kately, Cal's third freshman starter, added 11 points.
Gloger's lay-in with 2:01 to play pulled Irvine within 54-52, but Ubaka answered with another 3.
Cal lost by two points last weekend at UNLV and its two other games were decided by a total of two points - a one-point loss and a one-point win.
Irvine built a 15-5 lead early, but Cal then scored 14 straight points, including seven in a row by Powe.
These teams are accustomed to close games. The Anteaters won the last meeting on Dec. 2, 2000, 56-52.
By JANIE McCAULEY
AP Sports Writer
Wed 9/26 | 7:00pm PTLive