Robertson leads Cal past USF
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP)—Two of Pete Newell’s former teams put on quite an offensive show.
Theo Robertson scored a career-high 23 points with a career-best five 3-pointers to go with four assists to help California hold off San Francisco 87-74 Tuesday night, playing on Pete Newell Court a day after the Hall of Fame coach died at age 93.
Manny Quezada made his first five field-goal tries with three 3s on the way to 27 points on 10-for-12 shooting and also dished out five assists for the speedy Dons. Dior Lowhorn, the leading scorer in the West Coast Conference last season at 20.5 points per game, added 20 points.
Quezada had back-to-back baskets during a 7-0 spurt that pulled USF to 59-58 with 8:25 to play. Jerome Randle followed with consecutive 3-pointers for Cal and finished with 25 points, seven assists and six rebounds as the Golden Bears (2-0) stayed unbeaten under first-year coach Mike Montgomery.
Robertson, who missed all of last season and redshirted as he recovered from hip surgery, had already scored 14 points barely eight minutes into the game with four 3-pointers. He scored 11 straight Cal points during a 16-2 first-half run that put the Bears ahead 27-16.
Jamal Boykin added 15 points for Cal, which is shooting well so far under Montgomery—the former Stanford and Golden State Warriors coach. The Bears shot 35-for-60 (58 percent) and didn’t go to the free throw line for the first time until midway through the second half.
But first-year USF coach Rex Walters’ team (2-1) showed plenty of positive signs for a program that’s rebuilding after a tumultuous 10-21 season a year ago in which Eddie Sutton took over in December for the now fired Jessie Evans.
The Dons have already posted two impressive wins, including beating Hawaii in Honolulu last Friday followed by a victory against Texas State on Sunday.
Cal made 13 of its first 19 shots with five 3s, but USF hit seven 3-pointers of its own to stay within 38-36 at halftime.
The teams met for the first time since Dec. 30, 2002, when Cal won 77-70 in overtime at Haas Pavilion. Cal and USF combined to make their first seven shots.
A pregame tribute with photos on the video board was held for Newell, then a moment of silence followed by a warm standing ovation.
Cal also had baseball-card size memory cards made with a picture of a young Newell on the front and highlights of his life and career written on the back.