Shooting 61.5 percent in the second half, California pulled away with a late 13-3 run Monday night to stop Santa Clara 78-66 at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, Calif.
Reserve Juhwan Harris-Dyson and Matt Bradley each scored 15 points for the Golden Bears (2-3). Andre Kelly and Paris Austin chipped in 13 apiece, while Justice Sueing added 11 points and six rebounds.
Trey Wertz tallied a game-high 16 points for the Broncos (1-5). Tahj Eaddy and Josip Vrankic each scored 12. But it wasn’t enough to make up for 22 turnovers that Cal converted into 32 points, 19 coming in the first half.
Still, Santa Clara was in contention after Wertz finished a 16-4 run with a short jumper at the 7:03 mark that drew it within 53-52. But the Bears promptly scored six straight points and then expanded the advantage to 72-58 on two free throws by Austin with 1:33 remaining, quelling the upset bid.
California shot 53.7 percent from the field and was an efficient 17-of-22 at the foul line. That more than canceled out the Broncos’ 33-24 rebounding advantage.
California scored the game’s first 14 points, although it took it more than seven minutes to get there. The score was just 4-0 at the first media timeout, but the Bears quickly pushed the lead into double figures, with Harris-Dyson capping the spurt with a basket.
Santa Clara finally got on the board at the 12:28 mark on a stickback by Vrankic, although it fell into a deeper hole a few minutes later. When Sueing dunked off a Paris Austin feed with 9:08 left, Cal owned a 21-5 advantage.
The Broncos made small inroads into the deficit over the final 8:49 of the half. Eaddy scored six points in the last 3 ½ minutes, including a layup with 13 seconds remaining to draw the visitors within 31-19 at the half despite making only 7-of-21 shots and committing 14 turnovers.
—Field Level Media