McNeese State (3-2) at (24) California (5-1)
Monday, November 28th, 10:30 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Pat Taggart, Associate College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Haas Pavilion (12,000) -- Berkeley, California. Television: None. Home Record: McNeese St. 2-0, Cal 4-0. Away Record: McNeese St. 1-2, Cal 0-0. Neutral Record: McNeese St. 0-0, Cal 1-1. Conference Record: McNeese St. 0-0, Cal 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The California Golden Bears play host to the McNeese State Cowboys this evening in non-conference action from Haas Pavilion in Berkeley. This is the first meeting between the two schools in men's basketball.
McNeese State enters this tilt with a 3-2 record thanks to wins in each of its last two outings. On Saturday, the Cowboys knocked off Sacramento State on the road by a 68-63 final.
As for Cal, it opened the season with four consecutive victories before getting crushed by Missouri last Tuesday, 92-53. To the credit of the Golden Bears, they bounced back strong on Saturday with an 80-59 decision over Denver, and they carry a 4-0 home record into this evening's affair.
McNeese State head coach Dave Simmons earned his 100th career win on Saturday against Sacramento State, as his Cowboys shot 62.1 percent from the field in the second half to fight back from an early deficit. They connected on only 33.3 percent of their shots from the floor in the opening half, so the fact that they were able to bounce back over the final 20 minutes is a credit to Simmons and his staff. Patrick Richard tallied 19 points, eight rebounds, five assists, four steals and three blocks, a tremendous all-around effort by the McNeese State forward. Through five games, Richard is scoring 15.2 ppg for the Cowboys, who are generating 66.2 ppg while allowing 62.2 ppg to opponents. Jeremie Mitchell checks in with 13.4 ppg.
Through six outings, Cal is generating 72.2 ppg while allowing 60.3 ppg on 41.3 percent shooting from the field. Allen Crabbe paces the Golden Bears with 13.3 ppg, and Jorge Guiterrez checks in with 12.7 ppg. Justin Cobbs (11.5 ppg) and Harper Kamp (10.0 ppg) round out a foursome of double-digit scorers for Cal. Five players scored in double figures in the victory over Denver last time out, and Cobbs led the charge with 22 points on the strength of a 4-of-4 effort from three-point range. Crabbe contributed 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Kamp, Guiterrez and Brandon Smith all scored 11 points. Cal shot 52 percent from the field in the clash.
Expect another balanced offensive effort from Cal, which will dominate this contest from start to finish.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: California 89, McNeese State 60
11/28 12:44:24 ET