BERKELEY -- California needed three-point shooting to overcome a surprise zone from Colorado on Sunday, and Charlie Moore helped answer the bell, going 3-of-3 from three-point range as part of a 19-0 run that helped fuel the Bears' Sunday win over the Buffaloes. He and senior grad transfer Grant Mullins break down the 11-point win in the video above.
Mullins on the 23-point lead shrinking to 5 in the second half, were you trying to make the game more exciting: "Not at all. They're just a really talented team, and they shoot it really well from the three-point line, so we knew that a big lead could go away quickly if we let up. They hit a few shots, got a few and-ones, so we just had o stay locked in, defensively."
Did you let up (Mullins)? "I don't think we let up. I think we just had a few mental lapses on defense that gave them some momentum shots during the second half."
After Ivan Rabb picked up his third foul, and guys who normally don't make big plays (Sam Singer had nine points, Kameron Rooks had nine point, Stephen Domingo hit a big three to halt a 10-2 run by Colorado) stepped up (Mullins): "That's huge, and for those guys to come off the bench, cold, like that, and come in and hit a big shot, that's really impressive. 'Ming, he works so hard in practice, and gets so many extra reps that to see him do that is great. I hope we can get more from them."
At 62-57, Mullins, who'd struggled shooting the ball the last few games, he got a corner three, did he shoot that with total confidence: "Yeah, I do. I keep shooting with confidence, and it helps that C-Mo keeps passing to me and telling me to shoot, so I keep letting them fly."
How did Moore feel after hitting his first two three-pointers: "When I hit my first two threes, it felt pretty good. My teammates set me up, gave me wide-open looks, and after that, I felt the rhythm. The players kept going under screens, so I figured I'd shoot it, and it was just falling tonight."
Three-pointers weren't falling early (Cal started 0-for-3) and then the Bears hit five straight. Was that by design (Moore)? "Definitely. Us penetrating the gap, and looking for the kick-out, the bigs, they were sagging in, so the kick-outs were wide open. I got complete confidence in the shooters -- [Jabari] Bird and Grant and 'Mingo -- so I'll kick it out to them, and they'll knock it down."
Were you expecting Colorado to play the zone the way they did in the first half (Mullins): "Yeah, we have. We watched a lot of film on them, so we expected it."
How is Moore feeling at this point in the year: "I definitely feel comfortable. Teammates are getting in the right spots, [I] feel like I have more chemistry with the teammates now, I know where to find them, I know where they're good at to finish around the basket. It's me coming into every game, focused. I think I've been feeling more comfortable."
Cal is 8-3 in conference, with 5 of the last 7 on the road. What's the team's comfort level, approaching the final stretch (Moore): "I think we're very comfortable. We've been working hard in practice, as a team. We've been talking more on the defensive end, and I think our chemistry is building even more. I feel like we're ready."
Second straight game where you let a first-half lead slip, is that a concern (Moore)? "Definitely. I think it's just us staying mentally focused and locked in the game and expanding the lead and giving 100 percent throughout the whole 40 minutes of the game. I think, if we do that, we can come out with a large [margin] of victory."
You've had a lot of these kinds of games, getting out to a fast start and letting teams come back. Is there any one thing that causes it (Mullins)?: "I think it's just momentum shifting in the game. These teams are all good teams, so they're going to start hitting shots. We just have to do a good job, once they do get some momentum, at limiting it, and trying to make it as short as possible, so we can get ours back."
Ivan Rabb and Bird are the two highest scorers. How much responsibility do you feel to take the load off them like tonight (Moore): "I feel like it's real big. We've been wide open for shots, because they're so keyed in on Ivan. They look to double him every game, and also Bird, they're keying in on Bird, try to load the paint up on him. Us, just making our shots, making the right plays for our teammates, so we can come out with a win."
Mullins on the same: "When they have to worry about us a little bit more, it makes the get easier baskets inside. When they have to guard Charlie and I outside, that's less guys that can come down to double Ivan. I think it's good for them."