Christopher, Cal have big second half to beat Missouri 86-72
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP)—Patrick Christopher scored 11 of his 18 points in the second half and California fought back in the final 20 minutes to preserve its perfect record, beating Missouri 86-72 on Saturday night as part of the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series.
Ryan Anderson added 15 points, 11 rebounds and made all seven of his free throws for the Golden Bears (5-0), off to their best start since winning the first seven games in the 1994-95 season.
DeVon Hardin had 16 points and 12 boards as Cal spoiled the Tigers’ first trip to the West Coast since playing at Gonzaga nearly four years ago—and 19 pro scouts came out to see this matchup.
Tigers leading scorer Stefhon Hannah had 14 points and nine assists before fouling out with 1:47 left. He averaged 20.8 points on 53 percent shooting over his previous four games.
Matt Lawrence hit five of his team’s seven first-half 3-pointers, but Mizzou (5-3) couldn’t keep up its torrid offense in the second half after shooting 65 percent on the way to a 45-37 lead at the break. But Lawrence missed all four of his shots in the second half and didn’t score until a pair of free throws at 3:10. The Tigers went 10-for-30 in the second half.
DeMarre Carroll added 14 points for the speedy, athletic Tigers, who went away from their full-court man press in the second half after getting results with it early.
Christopher scored seven straight points to get the Bears back within 56-54 with 12:26 to play, and Cal drew an offensive foul on Keon Lawrence on the other end during the stretch.
Nikola Knezevic’s driving layin at 9:02 gave Cal its first lead since scoring the first points of the game, 64-63, and Jerome Randle swished a 3 the next time down. Knezevic also converted a three-point play with 6:53 to go.
Missouri made eight of its first 13 shots and forced Cal into six turnovers in the first 7 1/2 minutes on the way to a 20-9 lead. Matt Lawrence hit back-to-back 3s during an 8-0 spurt.
It was a good matchup in the paint with Missouri’s Leo Lyons and Hardin, who got plenty of support from freshman Harper Kamp with 11 points and four boards. He shot 5-of-6 at the free-throw line and Cal was 26-for-29 overall.
Lyons picked up his first foul only a minute into the game, then Hardin fouled him on the other end moments later on a made basket. Lyons drew another foul on Hardin with a three-point play at the 14:32 mark.
The Tigers, coming off a 94-91 loss at Arkansas on Wednesday, were outboarded 17-8 in the first half but didn’t miss many shots and Cal had several tipins.
Randle, the Bears’ point guard in his third game back after missing time following a kidney biopsy Oct. 29, committed five first-half turnovers but took better care of the ball when it mattered most.
The Bears began the game 3-for-11 but still shot 48 percent in the half— yet Missouri made 65 percent of its chances in the opening 20 minutes (17-for-26).
Mizzou leads the all-time series 3-2 but this was the first meeting since the Bears won 64-63 on Dec. 2, 1986.