The Cal Bears used their superior size to blow out the visiting Denver Pioneers Tuesday night at Haas Pavilion 77-50.
Cal (2-0) held the Pioneers to just 18 first-half points while blasting out to a 35-18 lead at the break. Heralded freshman Jabari Bird made his first start for the Golden Bears and finished with eight points on 3-of-8 shooting after being held scoreless in the first half.
Not that it mattered—there was plenty of scoring to be had by Cal in the opening 20 minutes.
This one was never close after the early going—the Golden Bears hit 10 of their first 13 shots while Denver was missing 12 of its first 14, with Cal building a 24-5 lead with 7:40 left in the first half.
The only downside in the loss for the Golden Bears was when senior point guard Justin Cobbs had to leave the game in the second half with an apparent injury to his left leg. Cobbs finished with 10 points and six assists.
Tyrone Wallace paced the Bears with 16 points, while David Kravish tossed in 16. Richard Solomon ripped down 16 rebounds as Cal clobbered the smaller Pioneers on the glass by a 40-20 margin. Wallace also had three steals.
Cam Griffin led Denver (0-1) with 15 points, while Marcus Byrd was the only other Pioneer in double figures with 10 points.
It will be a Golden night at Haas Pavilion on Friday as the Golden Bears host the Oakland Golden Grizzlies (0-2) for an 8 p.m. tip. Oakland, located in Rochester, Mich., has played its first two games at No. 12 North Carolina and No. 24 UCLA, losing both by large margins.