Tyrone Wallace had 24 points and six assists, and freshman Jaylen Brown added 17 points and seven rebounds to lead No. 15 California past UC Santa Barbara 85-67 on Monday night.
Jordan Mathews had 16 points and seven rebounds for the Golden Bears (2-0), who dropped a spot to No. 15 in this week’s Associated Press poll following a 32-point, season-opening win against Rice last Friday night.
Michael Bryson, UCSB’s top returning scorer, had 23 points in his season debut for the Gauchos (1-1) after sitting out Friday’s opener while serving a one-game suspension for his participation in a non-sanctioned summer league game in July.
Brown made a steal and drove the floor for a highlight-reel, left-handed dunk with 10:24 to go. Fellow top recruit Ivan Rabb scored the next time down in a stretch of five straight made baskets by Cal and finished with 12 points, making all 10 of his free throws.
Three days after all five California starters scored in double figures in the 97-65 win against Rice, they did it again thanks to Jabari Bird’s late 3-pointer after he missed his first five attempts from long range.
So far, coach Cuonzo Martin has been happy with how his team is sharing the ball and pushing the tempo, starting on the defensive end.
Wallace shot 6 for 10 and made 11 of 13 free throws. The senior earned Pac-12 Player of the Week honors for his 20-point, nine-assist, six-rebound performance against Rice.
Cal hoops is becoming a happening after the addition of Brown and Rabb, both potential NBA lottery picks. Former Cal star Shareef Abdur-Rahim, who like Brown attended Wheeler High in Marietta, Ga., sat in the second row opposite the Cal bench while Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin — who attended Cal — sat in his regular courtside seat in the other corner across from the UCSB bench.