Williams, Huggins keep Fresno State rolling in win over Cal
FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — New Williams scored a career-high 19 points, Braxton Huggins shook off a sluggish shooting night to score 18, and Fresno State won its sixth straight, beating California 95-73 on Wednesday.
Nate Grimes added 17 points with five rebounds. Noah Blackwell had 13 points and career-highs of nine assists and seven rebounds for the Bulldogs.
Paris Austin tied his career-high with 20 points for California (4-6). Justice Sueing also had 20 while Andre Kelly scored 11.
It’s the first time the two teams have played since Cal defeated Fresno State 65-57 on Nov. 30, 2014.
The difference this time was striking.
Playing for the first time in nearly two weeks, Fresno State (8-2) pulled away midway through the first half and led by as much as 25 while beating a Pac-12 team for the first time since 2016.
Cal played without 7-foot-3 center Connor Vanover, who is in concussion protocol after suffering a broken nose while going for a loose ball against Cal Poly on Saturday. Vanover had started each of the previous two games.
California: The Bears started off well enough but faded quickly and never recovered in their most lopsided defeat this season. The problems were wide-ranging, from a lack of ball security, little movement on offense and a lack of size inside that Fresno State took full advantage of. Grant Anticevich, pressed into duty with Vanover out, lost his cool in the first half and drew a technical foul that was symbolic of Cal’s night.
Fresno State: The Bulldogs have been on quite a roll since losing to Miami on Nov. 23 in the Wooden Legacy but they’ve looked particularly sharp lately. They’ve won their last three games by an average of 21.3 points and are getting balanced scoring. Huggins gave Fresno State a scare when he limped off the court in the second half but he returned to finish the game.
California: The Bears return to Haas Pavilion to host San Jose State on Friday.
Fresno State: Hosts Tennessee-Martin on Saturday.
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