Robertson, Randle Take Charge in Respective Halves to Lead Bears Past USF

Photo: Cal forward Theo Robertson drives past a Dons defender during the Bears' 87-74 win on Tuesday night. Robertson had 23 points, 19 of which came in the first half.
Anna Hiatt/Staff
Cal forward Theo Robertson drives past a Dons defender during the Bears' 87-74 win on Tuesday night. Robertson had 23 points, 19 of which came in the first half.

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The Cal basketball team's 87-74 win over San Francisco on Tuesday night at Haas Pavilion was certainly a tale of two halves.

And in each frame, one Bears junior took it upon himself to take the scoring lead, as forward Theo Robertson and guard Jerome Randle each took charge on offense in a different half.

Robertson paced the Bears early with 19 first-half points on 6-of-9 shooting, including five three-pointers, as Cal went into halftime with a slim 38-36 halftime lead. But in the second frame, the 6-foot-6 Robertson's hot hand cooled down, and the junior only scored four points the rest of the way.

Enter Randle. A spectator much of the first half, the scoring guard only mustered four points in the frame but caught fire midway through the second. After USF guard Manny Quezada hit a runner with just over eight minutes left in the game to give the Dons a 60-59 lead, Randle came alive, scoring 10 points in just over a minute.

He finished with 21 second-half points and 25 for the game

"At the beginning of the game, my shot just wasn't falling," Randle said. "I thought maybe once everyone else gets on, it will open up the game for me."

Even with the hot shooting, Randle didn't take much credit for his second-half surge.

"Just trying to be a basketball player," he said. "When I'm open and I see, I take it and create for myself."

The biggest creator for USF was Quezada, a highly touted transfer from Rutgers who led all scorers on Tuesday with 27 points. The 6-foot-2 guard missed only two of his 12 shots and hit all five three-pointers he attempted, in addition to notching a team-high five assists.

Ironically, it was his basket to take a 60-59 lead that appeared to reignite the Bears-something Robertson acknowledged afterwards.

"We had to," Robertson said of his team refocusing after the Dons took a brief lead. "We talked before the game about coming out and setting the tone early, which we didn't really do Like I said, we have to play defense. It starts with defense. Sounds like a broken record, but it is true."

USF coach Rex Walters, for one, didn't seem too impressed with the defense of his team.

"(Cal forward Jamal Boykin) was good, Randle was good," Walters said. "And how good was Theo Robertson? For the first five minutes, it didn't seem like we could stop him at all."

Dons guard and Berkeley High alum Dior Lowhorn also posted 20 points at center, though Boykin-who put up 15 points and four rebounds himself-forced him to miss 12 shots.

Even in spite of the win, Cal coach Mike Montgomery had some choice words for his team after the game.

"I went in and blasted them a little bit," Montgomery said. "We made a lot of mistakes that we can't make if we're going to be a good team down the road. Statistically, it looked (pretty good) 21-to-9 assist to turnover ratio, shot 58 percent.

"I just didn't like some of the things. Every time we earned a lead, we got lax and a little lazy to allow them back in the game We kind of bailed ourselves out by shooting the ball well again.

"Fortunately, we've got some guys that can shoot the ball."


Contact Jack Ross at jross[email protected]

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