Mathews scores 31 as Cal upsets No. 21 Washington
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Tyrone Wallace will always generate the attention of opposing defenses. Jordan Mathews got his turn, and knocked down key shots from all over the floor in California’s biggest win yet under new coach Cuonzo Martin.
Mathews scored 31 points and hit three of his career-high five 3-pointers in the second half and David Kravish added a career-best 21 points, leading the Golden Bears to an 81-75 upset of No. 21 Washington on Friday night in the Pac-12 opener for both schools.
After struggling to make shots in the first half, Cal (11-3, 1-0 Pac-12) pushed the tempo after halftime and capitalized on Washington’s turnovers and shot selection.
“We did a way better job today than we have in the past few games of coming out fast,” Kravish said. “We came out harder. Shots weren’t falling that we would normally make but we were working through that.”
Wallace wound up with 19 points, eight rebounds, four steals and four assists while shooting 11 for 12 from the line for Cal, which concluded the non-conference schedule with at least 10 wins for the first time since also beginning the 2011-12 season 10-3. The Bears were 24 of 34 overall on free throws.
Kravish added 10 rebounds for Cal, which had lost consecutive games for the first time under Martin.
“We have to be sound defensively and make free throws. When you make free throws, it opens it up,” Martin said. “My biggest concern going into a game like this was how are we going to score the ball? We stayed aggressive. Dave was engaged offensively from start to finish ... then Jordan shot the ball and shot it with confidence.”
Washington (11-2, 0-1) shot 53.6 percent in the first half then 38.2 over the final 20 minutes. The Huskies hurt themselves with 12 turnovers and breakdowns on both ends that allowed Cal to establish a nice tempo and shoot 60.9 percent after halftime.
Nigel Williams-Goss had 19 points, eight rebounds and nine assists and Robert Upshaw added 16 points, eight boards and five blocks for Lorenzo Romar’s Huskies, who lost their second straight and still must play a tough game at Stanford on Sunday in jeopardy of falling out of the Top-25 poll. Washington has dropped the last three against Cal.
Washington put its defensive energy into stopping Wallace, who was held to 4 for 20 and missed all four of his 3-point attempts. But Mathews kept hitting the key shots.
“Any time someone can get 30, I guess you’d call them the X factor,” Williams-Goss said. “Tyrone was definitely our main priority coming into the game. He was averaging 19 points a game.”
Mathews shot 8 for 14, hitting a 3-pointer with 6:37 remaining moments after Mike Anderson’s 3 on the other end had pulled the Huskies to 56-52. Mathews scored again from long ranger at 4:18 and also converted 10 of 12 free throws.
“Mathews hit some tough shots,” Romar said. “They capitalized when they needed to. We missed a lot of shots.”
Jernard Jarreau converted a three-point play, then Williams-Goss made a steal and layin, then converted two free throws with 4:40 left to pull Washington within 61-59.
Mathews delivered again to keep Cal ahead, and he finished with four or more 3s in a game for the fourth time in his career.
“When we got guys going like that on offense, it kind of takes the edge off for everybody,” Kravish said.
The Huskies committed three turnovers in a span of 2:37 as Cal took a 43-38 lead at the 13:26 mark of the second half on Wallace’s layin.
The Bears, who came in holding opponents to 59.7 points per game, also swarmed the middle defensively in the second half to slow down the 7-footer Upshaw. He made only two shots over the final 20 minutes.
Cal missed 10 straight field-goal tries midway through the first half, a stretch of 5:08 between Kravish’s two baskets.
OFF THE BENCH
Roger Moute a Bidias helped defend Williams-Goss, while Kingsley Okoroh came off the bench to plug up the middle and blocked a shot.
Washington: Upshaw has 60 blocks and is seven from tying the UW single-season record held by David Dixon and Christian Welp. ... Williams-Goss has 89 assists through 13 games.
California: Cal hosted Washington in its conference home opener for the third straight year. The Bears are 9-4 in conference openers dating to 2003. They beat the Huskies during the five-game winning streak in Pac-12 play starting last season. ... Cal is 8-2 at home in Haas Pavilion.
Washington: At Stanford on Sunday night.
Cal: Hosts Washington State on Sunday.