Cal Beats Portland in Championship Game

The championship game of the 16th annual Golden Bear Classic started fast and furious for the California Golden Bears as they went on a 13-0 run early in the first half. The Bears cruised again their 11th victory in the history of this tournament with an 81-61 victory over the Portland Pilots…

"The players had a little bit better mental approach coming into this game than they had the previous few," said Cal head coach Mike Montgomery.

"They watched the first half of last night's game, but they didn't really have the proper appreciation of Portland. Then we watched highlights of games where they beat Washington and played Oregon. They looked good. They ran their stuff. Our guys were physically and mentally ready to compete. We got off to a good start defensively. We shot the ball well."

Jerome Randle was named tournament MVP and had another stellar performance, scoring 16 points including going 3-for-5 beyond the arc. Cal used a balanced attack on Sunday with Theo Robertson chipping in 16; Patrick Christopher added 13 points and the team's high scorer, Jamal Boykin kicking in 19 points and 12 rebounds.

Portland pulled within eight points early in the second half but that is as close as the Pilots would get. Their leading scorer, Nik Raivio, was held to three points in the game and the Pilots as a whole only managed 29 points in the entire second stanza.

"I feel Portland is a quality basketball team," said Montgomery. "They are big. They're strong. They're physical. It's not the kind of team we have played well against. They do a very good job rebounding the ball."

The Bears can now set its sights on the Pac-10 opener against Arizona at home on January 2. Cal is now 11-2 including being undefeated at home and hope to continue that trend against the Wildcats.

"I think five or six of our preseason games will be comparable to conference games," said Montgomery.

"We'll see more physical teams. They'll have scouted since everyone has more time to prepare now. We're going to cause some people some problems in Conference play. There are still some areas that we need to work on, and we're just going to keep working on them so that we will have a chance to compete."

Game Notes

  • Portland Pilot's Head Coach Eric Reveno played for Cal head coach Mike Montgomery when he was at Stanford.
  • Cal continued their solid 3-point (6 for 11) and free throw shooting (25 for 32).
  • Jamal Boykin's 19 points and 12 rebounds were both career highs.

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