The California Golden Bears faced off against the St. Mary’s Gaels tonight at home in Haas Pavilion. The Bears started with a stout defense, shutting down St. Mary’s shooting behind the arc, and… well, everywhere really: the Gaels only picked up a few free throws in the first five minutes, while Kareem South managed 8 points in the same interval. But it didn’t take long for the Gaels to start making things more interesting with a strong performance by Malik Fitts, wiping out the Bears’ early 10-2 lead to even the game 15-15. The Gaels continued to extend their lead throughout the remainder of the half, finding killer 3-pointers to quickly pull away. The Bears end the half down to the Gaels 29-45.
The Gaels came back onto the court and continued to fight for an extended lead, with the Bears trying tp put some semblance of an offense on the court. Andre Kelly went to work, picking up several buckets with and-ones attached, but whistle-blowing hampered play so much that Coach Fox earned himself a technical. The Bears played gritty and fought hard, trying to slash at the Gaels’ 19-point lead, despite some unfavorable calls and heightened tensions. Final score from Haas, Cal 77, St. Mary’s 89; Kelly finished with 26 points.