Entering halftime, Tyrone Wallace was 2-of-13 from the field, as a team Cal was shooting 32 percent while its defense allowed No. 21 Washington to convert of 54 percent of its attempts. Given all that, the Golden Bears should have considered themselves lucky to only trail by five.
In the second half, the shots still didn’t fall for Wallace, though, they didn’t have to. Jordan Mathews and David Kravish carried the load offensive, combining for 52 points — 34 of which came after halftime — as Cal kicked off Pac-12 play with an 81-75 win over the ranked Huskies.
Mathews was one-point shy of matching his career-high of 32 points. Kravish set his own career best with 21. Although Wallace was his season-worst 4-for-20 from the field, he still managed to finish with 19 points, doing the bulk of his damage from the line, hitting 10 free throws with under three minutes to play.
Nigel Williams-Goss had 19 points, eight rebounds and nine assist for the Huskies, followed by Robert Upshaw with 16 points and eight boards.
The Golden Bears shot 61 percent from the field in the second half, and for the night only coughed up the ball four times. The Huskies committed 13 turnovers, which Cal took advantage, turning those miscues into 15 points. In Washington’s upset loss to Stony Brook at home on Sunday, the Seawolves created 19 points off 12 turnovers to help erase a double-digit deficit.
Another area where Cal took advantage of was on the glass. Despite being outrebounded 33-21, the Golden Bears turned eight offensive rebounds in 13 second-chance boards.
If you’re Cuonzo Martin, you have to feel encouraged after your first Pac-12 game. Wallace had a terrible night shooting the ball, but still contributed offensively, Cal’s second-best scorer, Jabari Bird, is still sidelined and the Golden Bears were still able to get a win over a ranked opponent.
Washington, however, has a short turnaround before another challenging, conference road game. The Huskies are at Stanford on Sunday night.