Late Run Helps Bears Ride Past Mustangs






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Markhuri Sanders-Frison said that shots had to "start falling sooner or later."

They did at just the right time for the Cal men's basketball team.

In a 39-39 contest with under three minutes to play against Cal Poly, Mike Mongtomery's club finally managed to put the visiting Mustangs -- and the Bears' own shooting woes -- behind them.

Sanders-Frison drew a double-team on the right block before dishing out to an open Allen Crabbe. The freshman guard drained a crucial three-pointer from the right corner, sparking a 12-2 run that closed out a 51-41 Cal victory.

"We've been working on that all week, we wanted to go inside out" said Sanders-Frison, who turned in his second career double-double with a team-high 15 points and 10 assists at Haas Pavilion.

"I took an extra dribble, so I could make sure his feet were set."

Jorge Gutierrez followed up a Sanders-Frison put-back with a three pointer to make the score 47-39, putting the game out of reach with 1:09 to play.

Yet rarely would things go that smoothly for the Bears (6-4). Cal Poly (3-7) was able to slow down the tempo all afternoon, hounding Cal into 26.3-percent shooting and nine turnovers in the first half.

"To their credit, that's what they do," Montgomery said. "They make it difficult to play ... I don't know what you can do differently, they're going to play that way regardless.

Probably given my emphasis this week in getting good shots, guys were gun-shy and we weren't really smooth."

Despite playing some hard-nosed defense of their own and holding the Mustangs to 12 first-half points, the Bears only mustered 19 before intermission.

Cal Poly would remain within striking distance after the break, never trailing by more than seven until Cal's game-clinching spurt.

The Mustangs held tough thanks to 16 points from guard Shawn Lewis -- Cal Poly's only player in double-figures.

With the Mustang's leading scorer, David Hanson, limited to just six points, the 6-foot-4 Lewis was able to attack the basket and post up consistently against the Bears' smaller guards.

The local product out of Oakland's Bishop O'Dowd High School earned six points from the free throw line to make up for his 4-for-11 shooting.

"That was on us," Montgomery said, "Because he's left-handed, he's pretty quick going to his left and he got to his left hand around the basket."

Notes:

-- Gary Franklin, who chipped in nine points on 3-of-6 shooting, spent some time playing the point guard spot on Saturday.

"It changes my whole mentality, I feel like. In college, this is the first time I've been a valued shooter. So I feel like this gets me in the mindset to help my teammates and be aggressive."

-- After failing to get any offensive rebounds or second chance points against Southern Mississippi, Cal racked up nine of each on Saturday.

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Ed Yevelev covers men's basketball. Contact him at [email protected]



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