Cal Basketball Comes Back Against Frankston
The Frankston Blues are currently 3-21 – last in their league -- but on Tuesday, they gave the California men’s basketball team a run for its money, leading by as many as 11 points, and 10 in the third quarter, before the Golden Bears reeled them back in and finish off an 84-76 win in Melbourne, Australia.
“We did not do a good job out the gate. I thought we played more as individuals than as a team at the start,” said head coach Cuonzo Martin. “We were down by 10 points a couple of times in the game but we put in a defensive lineup that got us over the hump.”
Wing Stephen Domingo played a big role on defense, coming on with Cal up 68-66 in the fourth quarter and helping seal the win.
“Guys really started to play hard and get after it. They really competed and I thought that was great,” Martin said. “Stephen Domingo did an exceptional job really setting the tone defensively. That’s where it started for us. We started to get stops and we played well from that point.”
The Bears outscored the Blues 22-12 in the final frame, led by six points in the final four minutes by freshman Ivan Rabb.
Rabb was one of four Cal players to score in double figures, finishing the game with 14 points, to go along with a team-high seven boards (tied with Kingsley Okoroh) and one block, shooting 7-of-9 from the field. Rabb’s slam dunk with 39 seconds to go put the Bears up by nine.
The Bears were led once again by freshman Jaylen Brown, who scored 19 points in a team-high 21:58 on the floor.
Brown showed off his versatility, going 8-of-17 from the field and 2-of-4 from beyond the three-point line, adding five rebounds, one assist and four steals, though he did turn the ball over four times.
Senior point guard Tyrone Wallace was right on Brown’s heels with 18 points, going 7-of-12 from the field during his 26:14 on the floor. He notably hit 4-of-5 from the free-throw line, where he struggled last season. Wallace added five rebounds and dished out four assists, adding a steal.
“This was a tough game,” Wallace said, referring to the chilly conditions at the outset of the game, as well as the Blues’ physicality. “We had to overcome some adversity at the beginning and throughout the game. They were able to get out to a 10-point lead but we were able to battle back. We got some key defensive stops and were able to create some good looks on offense. As the game went on, we found ways to come together and make the stops we needed to down the stretch.”
Junior Jabari Bird came off the bench to score 13 points in 23:13 on the floor, going 6-for-11 from the field and 1-for-5 from three-point range, after starter Jordan Mathews went 2-for-10 in 25:08 minutes, and 0-for-3 from long distance.
Thursday, Aug. 20, 5 PM local (Thursday, 8/20, 12 AM Pacific): Cal vs. Australian Centre of Excellence at ACoE Campus in Canberra
Friday, Aug. 21, 6 PM local (Thursday, 8/20, 11 PM Pacific): Cal vs. Illawara Hawks at WIN Entertainment Centre in Wollongong