Bears Drop Road Contest to Aztecs

Nov. 18, 2006

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Jerome Habel scored 23 points in his first game back from a suspension and the San Diego State Aztecs continued their best start in 22 years by beating California 86-79 on Saturday.

The Aztecs are 5-0 for the first time since winning their first eight games in 1984-85.

Mohamed Abukar added 22 points and Brandon Heath 19 for the Aztecs, who beat a Pac-10 team for the first time in eight games. Their last win over a Pac-10 team came against Arizona State on Dec. 16, 2000.

Ryan Anderson scored 21 points for the Golden Bears (1-1) before fouling out with 5:13 left. The Golden Bears had beaten SDSU each of the last two seasons, including 82-64 at Berkeley last season.

Habel, a junior college transfer, was suspended on Oct. 31 for violating unspecified team rules.

SDSU's biggest lead was 63-52 with 8:33 left after Richie Williams' coast-to-coast layup capped an 8-0 run.

Cal quickly got it back into single digits, but Habel helped keep the Aztecs ahead by scoring nine points in the last seven minutes.

Cal's Jerome Randle made two free throws with 27.2 seconds left to make it 80-77. Abukar saved the ball from going out of bounds and flipped it to Habel, whose dunk gave SDSU an 82-77 lead with 17 seconds left.

Randle made a layup with 13 seconds left before SDSU closed it out with two free throws apiece by Abukar and Kyle Spain.

Randle scored 18 points, Omar Wilkes 15 and DeVon Hardin 10.

The Aztecs took a 7-0 lead and led by seven points two other times in the first half. Cal led 31-30 at halftime.

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