This Time Around, 'Bulldog' Hounds Huskies

Photo: Senior Jamal Boykin pulls down an aggressive rebound as part of his double-double (20 points, 11 rebounds).
Anna Hiatt/Staff
Senior Jamal Boykin pulls down an aggressive rebound as part of his double-double (20 points, 11 rebounds).

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It was a different story in the first meeting, but on Thursday night, "the Bulldog" had a bigger bite than any of the Huskies.

Back on Jan. 14, Jerome Randle had arguably the worst game of his collegiate career against Washington, scoring a season-low five points and committing eight turnovers in the loss.

Cal's senior point guard made sure there would be no repeat performance, pouring in 33 points last night to lead the Bears to a 93-81 victory at Haas Pavilion.

"I had this game on my schedule," Randle said. "I just let the first game go, but I knew I was going to produce out here. I just wanted to lead my team and be aggressive."

Randle shot 12-for-19 from the field and was one of five Cal players to score in double figures. Early on, it was fellow senior Jamal Boykin setting the tone offensively, opening the game by scoring 10 points in the first 12 minutes. Boykin finished with 20 points to go along with 11 rebounds.

"The two weekends going on the road, I only lifted one day a week, and I think it really helped to get in the weight room twice this week," Boykin said. "I just felt stronger on the court and felt more aggressive in everything I did."

Boykin's aggression rubbed off on his teammates as the Bears (16-8, 8-4 in the Pac-10) crashed the boards hard and often.

Coming into the game, the Huskies (16-8, 6-6) led the conference in rebounding at almost 40 per contest. Of those 40, Washington was averaging 15 on the offensive glass.

Looking to dictate the tone, Cal grabbed seven offensive rebounds in the first 12 minutes alone. The Bears ended up winning the rebounding battle by a margin of 37-30.

"The biggest thing for us tonight was hitting them before they hit us," Boykin said. "We drew contact first after the shot went up and because of that, we were able to box out."

With Cal controlling the glass early, the Huskies were unable to get out on the fast break. In half-court sets, Quincy Pondexter, Washington's leading scorer, struggled to get into any sort of offensive rhythm.

Guarded by Theo Robertson for most of the game, Pondexter wasn't given many opportunities down low and had to settle for jump shots. The senior still managed to score 18 points but shot just 6-for-15 from the floor.

The Huskies struggled with jump shots, shooting 3-for-12 from beyond the arc. But they did find success in transition.

Down 72-55 with 9:11 to go, Washington began pushing the ball up the court immediately off of missed shots by the Bears. Backup point guard Venoy Overton, in particular, sparked the Huskies and helped cut the lead down to nine with 6:47 to go in the game.

That was as close as they got. Cal responded with a 7-2 run and forced the game to become a free-throw contest.

After missing 18 of 50 at the charity stripe in Seattle a month ago, the Bears went 25-for-27 on Thursday night.


Contact Jimmy Tran at [email protected]

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