Christopher paces No. 12 Cal to exhibition win
November 6, 2009
BERKELEY – Patrick Christopher scored 16 points, Jamal Boykin added eight points and 12 rebounds and No. 12 California beat Division II Chico State 84-42 in an exhibition game Thursday night.
Jerome Randle, the Golden Bears’ leading scorer last season, had seven points and four assists for Cal, which won despite several sloppy moments against the smaller, slower Wildcats.
At one point in the first half with his team leading by 10, Cal coach Mike Montgomery threw his hands down in disgust after Randle was called for a five-second violation.
The Bears, favored to win the Pac-10 largely due to the return of four senior starters, committed seven turnovers in the first 12 minutes before coasting in the second half.
DaMario Sims had 10 points for Chico State, which shot 28.6 percent and had 25 turnovers.
Christopher, an all-conference pick along with Randle last season, had 14 points in the first half, when the Bears went on a 32-6 run. The senior guard hit a pair of 3-pointers and dunked twice, the second giving Cal a 41-15 lead with 1:39 left.
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Chico State coach Greg Cink’s team went 8-19 last season, the school’s most wins in three years, but with seven freshmen and a sophomore on the roster its inexperience showed.
Sims made a 3-pointer to pull Chico State within 23, but the Wildcats couldn’t get much going on either end of the court. Cal led by 28 at halftime and then piled on in the second half, pushing the lead to as many as 45.
The Bears will get a better gauge of themselves when they host Murray State on Monday. Cal’s non-conference schedule also includes road games at Syracuse, New Mexico and No. 1 Kansas.
In a preseason vote of media, Cal was picked to win the Pac-10 title, marking the first time in more than a decade that UCLA or Arizona wasn’t the top choice.
Christopher and Randle are expected to carry much of the load, though Randle looked a bit rusty against the Wildcats. Randle, who also led Cal in assists last season, was 2 of 8 from the floor and looked hesitant running the offense.
Markhuri Sanders-Frison, the only newcomer to the Bears’ starting lineup, had four points and nine rebounds. The 6-foot-8 center transferred from South Plains City College in Texas.
Jorge Gutierrez had 11 points and three assists for Cal before limping off after rolling his ankle in the final minutes.