Golden Bears advance with second-half surge

LAHAINA – California needed something to fire it up during a close game with Arkansas on Monday.

The Golden Bears found that spark early in the second half when Justin Cobbs threw a lob to Richard Solomon, who made a one-handed grab and dunked with authority.

From that point on, Cal was in rhythm.

David Kravish had 19 points and 15 rebounds and four of his teammates also scored in double figures as the Golden Bears defeated the Razorbacks 85-77 on Monday in the opening game of the EA Sports Maui Invitational at the Lahaina Civic Center.

“I’m obviously pleased,” said Cal coach Mike Montgomery. “Coming into this thing you look at the field and your first thought process is, ‘Can you win one?’ Now we got that one and we feel pretty good.”

The Golden Bears (5-0) will play Syracuse, ranked eighth in the nation by The Associated Press, in the semifinal round today at 2 p.m.

Arkansas (3-1) will face Minnesota at 9 a.m. in a fifth-place semifinal.

The alley-oop from Cobbs to Solomon came at the start of a 24-11 run, which put Cal in front 58-46 with 11 minutes, 46 seconds remaining.

“That’s what Richard loves to do,” Cobbs said. “Richard loves dunking, it gets him going. As a point guard, I know it gets his energy going and he starts to grab rebounds. I think it did turn things around, the bench got going, the crowd got going. I think it did give us a little energy.”

Kravish shot 8-of-12 from the field and six of his rebounds were on the offensive end. The Golden Bears held a 48-32 rebounding advantage.

“We really try to control the glass and bring the energy,” Kravish said. “When (Solomon) goes out of the game I really feel I need to step it up.”

Ricky Kreklow scored 17 points for Cal, Cobbs and Jabari Bird each added 15 and Solomon contributed all 11 of his points in the second half.

Arkansas’ Michael Qualls and Anthlon Bell didn’t start because of disciplinary reasons.

“It was a team meeting, they were late for a team meeting and they have got to learn from it,” Razorbacks coach Mike Anderson said. “You cannot be late for team meetings. We’ve gotten over that and now we will move forward.”

Qualls scored 21 points in 23 minutes and Bell added 16 in 26 minutes.

The Golden Bears shot 16-of-30 in the second half after struggling against the Razorbacks’ full-court pressure before halftime. Cal committed 10 first-half turnovers.

“We started off the game and I thought we were nervous, frankly,” Montgomery said. “We got away from what we worked on all week. Fortu-nately it didn’t hurt us too much, they may have been nervous, too.”

On his team’s second-half play, Montgomery said: “Once we settled down we got into a flow.”

Arkansas shot 24-of-64.

“We had a lack of movement of the basketball,” Qualls said. “If we get good ball movement, we can knock the shot down. We were stagnant.”

After halftime, California held a 27-14 rebounding edge.

“In the second half they really exposed us on the glass,” Anderson said. “I told the guys I’m 0-1. I’ll take it because I didn’t have them prepared for a game of this magnitude, but we’ll learn from it. That’s what this trip is all about.”

* Kyle Sakamoto is at


Clarke 0-4 3-4 3, Portis 1-5 3-6 5, Wade 0-2 2-2 2, Scott Jr. 1-3 1-2 3, Gulley III 0-3 0-0 0, Madden 3-6 4-6 10, Harris 3-8 2-4 8, Bell 6-13 0-0 16, Haydar 1-2 0-0 3, Williams 3-5 0-0 6, Qualls 6-13 5-6 21. Totals 24-64 20-30 77.


Solomon 4-6 3-7 11, Kravish 8-12 2-2 19, Cobbs 6-15 3-5 15, Wallace 2-6 1-5 6, Bird 5-8 2-2 15, Singer 0-2 2-2 2, Moute a Bidias 0-1 0-0 0, Mathews 0-2 0-0 0, Kreklow 3-7 8-10 17. Totals 28-59 21-33 85.

Halftime-California 34-32. 3-Point Goals-Arkansas 9-24 (Qualls 4-7, Bell 4-10, Haydar 1-2, Harris 0-1, Wade 0-1, Madden 0-1, Portis 0-2), California 8-20 (Bird 3-4, Kreklow 3-7, Kravish 1-1, Wallace 1-4, Mathews 0-1, Cobbs 0-3). Fouled Out-Solomon. Rebounds-Arkansas 32 (Harris 6), California 48 (Kravish 15). Assists-Arkansas 11 (Bell, Madden 3), California 15 (Cobbs 7). Total Fouls-Arkansas 25, California 18. A-2,400.