Saint Mary’s hot shooting proves too much for Cal
MORAGA, Calif. (AP) — Malik Fitts scored 19 points and Saint Mary’s rolled to an 84-71 victory over Cal on Saturday night.
The Gaels (4-4) emphatically halted their four-game losing streak, shooting 60 percent from the field and dominating their neighbors from the Pac-12.
It was the first time in three decades that Cal made the 14-mile trip to Moraga. Considering how this one played out, the Bears (2-4) may want to wait a while before returning.
Jordan Ford had 16 points and seven assists for Saint Mary’s, and Dan Fotu also scored 16. Justice Sueing led Cal with 16 points.
Saint Mary’s took control in the first 20 minutes, nailing six 3-pointers and entering the break with a 45-30 lead.
Tanner Krebs, who scored in double figures just twice in St. Mary’s first seven games, had 11 points in the first half, hitting 3 for 5 from beyond the arc.
Cal, playing its first game at McKeon since 1988, led 14-12 early. But Saint Mary’s clamped down defensively and the Bears found it increasingly difficult to get quality shots in the first half.
They shot just 13 for 29 (45 percent) before the intermission and 45 percent for the game. But Cal’s biggest issues came defensively.
Ford, who entered as the West Coast Conference’s scoring leader at 23.1 points per game, didn’t need to carry the load offensively Saturday, as four Gaels finished in double figures and Saint Mary’s went 13 for 25 from the 3-point line.
Cal: The Bears gave up too many open looks beyond the arc early on, and they don’t have the offensive firepower right now to overcome big first-half deficits.
Saint Mary’s: The Gaels put it all together on both ends of the floor, dominating a Pac-12 opponent and avoiding their first five-game losing streak since 2002.
Cal hosts San Francisco on Wednesday night, its third consecutive game against a neighboring Bay Area program.
Saint Mary’s plays Tuesday night at home against Bethune-Cookman.
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