California defeats Denver 77-50

ERIC GILMORE (Associated Press)
The Associated Press

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) -- Tyrone Wallace scored 16 points and David Kravish 15 in leading California to a 77-50 victory over Denver on Tuesday night.

Richard Solomon had 16 rebounds, nine points and two blocks for the Bears (2-0).

Cal senior point guard Justin Cobbs scored 10 points and had six assists but left the game with 8:27 remaining after suffering an apparent injury to his left leg. Cobbs, trying to block a shot, landed awkwardly on Denver's Cam Griffin. After being examined by Cal's medical staff, Cobbs limped off the floor and to the locker room.

Griffin led the Pioneers (0-1) with 15 points, and Marcus Byrd added 10. Chris Udofia and Brett Olson scored eight points apiece.

Cal improved to 5-0 in the series and beat Denver for the third straight season.

Kravish shot 7 for 12 from the field, mostly around the basket, while Wallace went 5 for 10.

Heralded freshman guard Jabari Bird made his first start for Cal. Bird, who scored 14 points off the bench in his debut Friday against Coppin State, went scoreless in the first half and finished with eight points on 3-of-8 shooting.

The Bears took control early, using their superior size to dominate Denver inside and build a 35-18 halftime lead. The Pioneers had no starter taller than the 6-foot-7 Byrd, while the Bears countered with the 6-10 Solomon and 6-9 Kravish. They combined to score 15 of the Bears' first 29 points.

Cal bolted to a 14-2 lead with Kravish doing most of the damage, scoring nine quick points and converting a three-point play.

The Pioneers, who averaged 7.9 3-point baskets per game last season, came out cold. They missed their first eight 3-point shots and 12 of their first 14 overall. The Bears made 10 of their first 13 shots - missing their only 3-point try taken during that span - and built a 24-5 lead as Solomon made a slam dunk with 7:40 left in the first half.

Griffin, who led the Pioneers with 10 first-half points, finally made Denver's first 3-point shot with 7:17 remaining in the half.

Udofia, a first-team All-Summit League pick and Denver's top returning scorer, had only three points in the first half.

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