Crabbe, Cobbs off to strong start for Cal

Getty Images File PhotoShooters: Allen Crabbe

Coming into the season, Allen Crabbe and Justin Cobbs were expected to carry the offensive load for the Cal men’s basketball team.

And if the season opening win against Cal State Bakersfield last week is a sign of things to come, the duo is right on track.

Crabbe scored 27 points and Cobbs had 22 in the 78-65 opening victory Sunday.

“We just feed off each other, try to get each other involved,” Cobbs said of playing with Crabbe. “I’m excited to play with this man Allen Crabbe.”

Finding a method to slow down the talented tandem will be the key for Pepperdine when it travels to Berkeley for a non-conference game tonight.

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That task will likely fall into the hands of guards Lorne Jackson and Jordan Baker, with help from forward Jett Raines.

While Crabbe and Cobbs appear to be off and running, the Golden Bears will need to see more offensive production from their bench if they expect to make another steady climb through the Pac-12 Conference. Just two reserves — senior forward Robert Thurman and freshman guard Tyrone Wallace — scored in the season opener with six points apiece.

“We have guys who are capable of scoring,” Crabbe said. “They just need to get the opportunity. Get the ball where they feel most comfortable with it.”

Wallace could be a key figure against Pepperdine. At 6-foot-4, he can play either guard or small forward, creating matchup problems with his length and athleticism.

On the flipside, the Waves will need to take better care of the basketball to prevent easy buckets by Cal. Pepperdine had 23 turnovers Friday in a 81-75 loss to Cal State Northridge, including 15 by the starting guards.

The Waves suited up just nine players against Northridge and wore down as they blew a 13-point lead with 13 minutes remaining.

Malte Kramer missed the game with a knee injury and Jan Maehlen and Austin Mills were kept out with hand injuries.

Jackson, who missed last season after undergoing knee surgery, also suffered from cramps late in the game and Raines was kneed in the thigh with eight minutes remaining and did not return.

NOTES: Baker led all Waves scorers with 21 points against Northridge, shooting 4-for-6 from 3-point range. … Cal has three starters who grew up in the Los Angeles area; Crabbe, Cobbs and forward Richard Solomon. … This will be Cal’s last home game until Dec. 9 vs. UNLV.

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