California 84, Furman 50
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP)—Ayinde Ubaka considers his decision-making as a point guard simple: He will either find the open man or create a scoring opportunity for himself.
Lately, he’s doing everything right.
Ubaka passed for a career-high 11 assists and had no turnovers in California’s 84-50 victory over Furman on Tuesday night, giving him 42 assists to seven turnovers over his last six games.
He also finished with 10 points for his ninth straight game scoring in double figures. Ubaka is the first Cal player to pass for 10 or more assists since Shantay Legans had 10 against Arizona State on March 8, 2001.
“What a great effort by Ayinde,” Cal coach Ben Braun said. “He made his team better tonight, he made his teammates better.”
Ryan Anderson scored eight quick points to start the second half and finished with 23 and seven rebounds, while Omar Wilkes scored 12 of his 15 points during a key run to end the first half. The Golden Bears came out of halftime with a 20-6 spurt that quickly turned the game into a rout. It was Cal’s biggest win since a 95-61 victory over Albany on Dec. 11, 2000.
“I could have a couple more assists by getting players the ball,” Ubaka said. “I’m just running the offense.”
Theo Robertson added 16 points and five rebounds as Cal (8-3) played its last home game for more than a month before the Bears host Washington State in Haas Pavilion on Jan. 11.
Cal center DeVon Hardin limped off at the end of the first half and didn’t return, watching the final 20 minutes with a bag of ice on his sprained left foot. He had eight points, six rebounds and two steals in 15 minutes. He was scheduled to have an MRI.
Stanley Jones scored 12 points to lead Furman (5-6), which shot 36 percent, went 7-for-23 from 3-point range, committed 19 turnovers and got outrebounded 30-29.
Moussa Diagne’s basket at the 11:11 mark of the first half gave the Furman senior from Senegal 1,001 points as he became just the 37th player in school history to score 1,000 points. He finished with seven points on 3-for-10 shooting and missed all but one of his 3-point tries.
The Bears played for the first time in 10 days following a break for final exams, and were slow starting out on offense in their first action since a disappointing five-point loss to San Diego. But after beginning the game 5-for-14, Cal shot 55 percent.
“I think our team knew this was about effort and teamwork,” Braun said. “We went back to our staples.”
The team plays at DePaul on Saturday in its final tuneup before kicking off the Pac-10 season at No. 9 Arizona on Dec. 28.
Cal used a 25-7 run to end the first half for a 41-24 lead, with Wilkes hitting consecutive 3-pointers during that span and another basket that just beat the buzzer.
“They can hurt you in transition,” Furman coach Jeff Jackson said. “They got some transition baskets because we threw them the ball. They got some points they didn’t have to earn.”
The Paladins, from Greenville, S.C., and a member of the Southern Conference, lost at San Diego 81-70 on Saturday in their first of two games in California. Furman had never faced Cal and hadn’t been to this state since playing in the Stanford Invitational in December 1981.