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California rallies to beat Oakland 64-60

AP - Sports

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) -- Freshman Jabari Bird made a tie-breaking 3-pointer with 1:24 remaining and added a pair of insurance free throws to lead California to a 64-60 win over Oakland on Friday night.

Bird, who grew up about 20 minutes from Haas Pavilion, made his first five 3-pointers and finished with a season-high 24 points. Justin Cobbs added 13 points and five assists while Richard Solomon had 11 points and a career-best 17 rebounds for the Golden Bears (3-0).

Travis Bader had 21 points for the Grizzlies but missed two 3-pointers in the final 61 seconds. Oakland (0-3) played without its second-leading scorer Duke Mondy and junior forward Dante Williams.

California trailed nearly the entire first half and was down 56-53 with 3:53 left before Solomon tied it on a three-point play, setting the stage for Bird.

The Bears' top recruit, who was held to five points in the first half, had missed three straight shots before sinking his sixth 3-pointer of the night after taking a cross-court pass from Ricky Kreklow.

Bader, who led the nation in 3-point shots made in 2012, missed a 3 on Oakland's ensuing possession then later missed another shot from beyond the arc with 30 seconds remaining.

Cobbs and Kreklow combined for three free throws over the final 17 seconds to seal the win for Cal.

It was a tough day all around for Oakland.

The Grizzlies, whose previous two losses came against No. 12 North Carolina and No. 24 UCLA on the road, were playing short-handed after Mondy and Williams were suspended following their arrest Thursday in Southern California on suspicion of sexual assault.

Both players were released after prosecutors declined to press charges because of insufficient evidence. However, the school decided to suspend Mondy and Williams while it conducts an internal investigation of the incident.

That left the Grizzlies with only a three-man bench, which was depleted even more when Lloyd Neely fouled out with five minutes to play.

Normally an up-tempo team, Oakland had to slow it down with a short bench. It nearly led to an upset.

Bader shot 8-for-19 from the floor and made five 3s. Kahlil Felder added 13 points, one of five Grizzlies in double figures.

Oakland led by as much as nine in the first half but couldn't slow down Bird, who scored 19 points after halftime.

The Grizzles had the Bears on the ropes early.

Bader made a pair of 3-pointers and Mitch Baenziger stole the ball from Cobbs and scored on a fastbreak layup to cap a 15-6 run and give the Grizzlies a 26-17 lead with under three minutes left in the first half.

Bird, Cal's highly touted freshman, helped the Bears cut the gap to 26-24 with a pair of free throws and a 3 before Oakland closed the half on a 4-0 run to take a six-point halftime lead.

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