Cal held its opponent to under 40 percent shooting for the fourth time this season with Sam Houston State finishing at 37 percent (26 for 70).
The No. 14 Bears played to their season average in rebounding margin with a 46-31 advantage on the boards on Monday. Cal entered the game plus-15 in that category.
Senior point guard Tyrone Wallace went 7-of-11 from the field, 1-of-2 fro three and 2-of-3 from the free throw line, and moved into the top 20 on Cal’s career scoring list, passing David Kravish (2012-15), and now ranks No. 20 with 1,277 career points after finishing with 17 points. Dave Butler (1983-87) is 19th with 1,291. Wallace also finished with a season-high seven rebounds.
Freshman Jaylen Brown scored a career-high 18 points and notched his second straight double-double with a career-high 11 rebounds. The first-year star from Georgia came close to accomplishing it in the first half alone, finishing with eight points and 10 rebounds in the first 20 minutes. The Marrieta, Ga. native also had career highs in steals (2) and assists (4).
With three blocks on Monday, freshman Ivan Rabb has collected multiple blocks in all four of Cal’s games and now has 12 this season.
Junior Jordan Mathews went 3-for-3 from three-point land, and scored a season-high 18 points. Mathews had gone 1-of-5 from three-point distance against East Carolina. Mathews now has 121 career 3-pointers and continues to close in on 10th place on Cal’s career list (139, Shantay Legans, 2000-02).
Four or more Bears (Brown, Wallace, Mathews, Jabari Bird) scored in double figures for the fourth time this season.
Sam Houston State opened the game on a 7-0 run before Cal scored the next 10 points to take its first lead of the night. At one point in the first half, the Bearkats missed 12 shots in a row and went scoreless over the course of 6:35.
Monday’s matchup was the first between Cal and Sam Houston State.
Attendance was 8,492.
The game was Cal’s second as part of the Las Vegas Invitational and the final game in the Bears’ four-game homestand to open the season. Cal defeated East Carolina last week as part of the tournament and will travel to Las Vegas later this week to take on San Diego State and either West Virginia or Richmond.
Center Kameron Rooks spent 11 minutes on the floor, going 2-of-3 from the floor and hitting 3-of-6 from the free throw line, while also pulling down five rebounds.
Cal piled up 17 assists on 31 field goals, and turned the ball over just six times, while tallying four steals. As a team, the Bears went 5-of-16 from three-point range. Cal scored 50 points in the paint to the Bearkats' 26, tallied 10 points off the bench to Sam Houston State's two, and racked up 20 second-chance points to the Bearkats' seven. Cal also scored 15 fast break points, and got 18 points off the bench.