Back from a trip to Florida, where it lost twice to Top-25 opponents, Cal hopes to generate some momentum Sunday evening with a matchup against Fresno State at Haas Pavilion.
The Bears were overwhelmed 80-60 by No. 23 Florida in the first round of the Fort Myers Tip-Off then gave No. 21 Seton Hall a battle before losing 62-59.
Coach Mark Fox’s squad needs to figure out how to get over the hump because two Pac-12 games loom next week. The Bears open conference play Thursday at home vs. Oregon State before trekking to Utah for an afternoon game a week from Sunday.
Then its back to nonconference play for four games spread over two weeks prior to a break at Christmas.
FRESNO STATE (5-0) at CAL (2-4)
WHERE: Haas Pavilion, Berkeley
WHEN: Sunday, 6 p.m.
TV/RADIO: Pac-12 Networks/810-AM
CAL-FRESNO STATE HISTORY: The Bears lead 6-3 and won 69-63 in the most recent meeting on Dec. 11, 2019. Cal is 5-1 against Fresno State in games at Berkeley but Fresno won 82-70 in the opening round of the 2001 NCAA tournament in Memphis.
CAL STORYLINES: The Bears lost twice to Top-25 teams at the Fort Myers Tip-Off in Florida this week but pushed No. 21 Seton Hall to the finish before losing 62-59 . . . Senior forward Andre Kelly (16.5 points, 9.8 rebounds) was named to the Tip-Off all-tournament team after averaging 16 points and 7.5 rebounds in two games. Kelly has three double-doubles this season and is shooting 66 percent from the field . . . Jordan Shepherd (12.5 points) and Grant Anticevich (11.3 points, 6.3 rebounds) also are scoring in double digits for the Bears . . . The Bears are converting just under 35 percent from the 3-point line but have made just 29.2 percent (14-for-48) the past three games . . . Cal averaged just 9.0 turnovers the first three games, but 14.7 the past three . . . This is the Bears’ last game before beginning a two-game set of Pac-12 games on Thursday at home vs. Oregon State.
FRESNO STATE STORYLINES: The Bulldogs stayed unbeaten with a 59-52 win over a Santa Clara team that had won its first five games . . . Fresno’s past three games all have been decided by exactly seven points . . . FSU was picked sixth the 11-team preseason Mountain West Conference poll . . . The Bulldogs are led by 7-foot junior center Orlando Robinson (19.4 points, 9.4 rebounds), who has scored at least 16 points in every game and a 27-point, 10-rebound performance vs. Idaho and a 17-point, 18-rebound effort vs. Long Island U . . . Isaiah Hill (11.2 points, 5.2 assists) and Jordan Campbell (11.0 points, 4.8 rebounds) form Fresno’s all-junior backcourt . . . FSU has shot above 31 percent from the 3-point arc just once in five games, but has out rebounded each of its first five foes and owns a plus-9.8 rebounding margin, easily best in the MWC.
CAL GAME NOTES: Click here
FRESNO STATE GAME NOTES: Click here
Cover photo of Cal coach Mark Fox by Jasen Vinlove, USA Today
Follow Jeff Faraudo of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jefffaraudo