Calvin Hermanson scored 19 of his 22 points in the first half, helping Saint Mary’s to a much-needed, 74-63 victory over California on Saturday evening at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, Calif.
The Gaels, who were preseason favorites to topple Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference, tumbled out of the Top 25 on Monday after losses to Washington State and Georgia during Thanksgiving weekend.
Saint Mary’s (6-2) closed the first half with an 11-2 run to go up 44-30, and the Golden Bears (3-5) got no closer than nine in the second half.
Freshman Jordan Ford had his best game for the Gaels, chipping in 17 points on 7-for-14 shooting. Saint Mary’s shot 49 percent from the floor.
Tanner Krebs was 0-for-6 but pulled down 11 rebounds for Saint Mary’s. Gaels star Jock Landale had 13 points and six rebounds before fouling out.
Cal cut the Gaels’ lead to 10 with 6:41 to go, but Emmett Naar answered with a 3-pointer to make it 68-55.
Marcus Lee made 10 of 14 field goals and led the Golden Bears with 23 points.
California shot 49.1 percent from the floor but was outscored 18-6 from the free throw line.
Hermanson keyed the Gaels’ 60.7 percent first-half shooting performance.
Saint Mary’s used an 11-2 run to break open a tie game and take a 33-24 lead with 4:51 left in the first half.
The Gaels opened the game with a 10-1 run capped by a 3-point play by Hermanson. Cal responded with a 10-3 run to cut the gap to two.