Lull's 20 points pushes San Francisco past California
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By MICHAEL WAGAMAN
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) San Francisco 7-foot center Jimbo Lull has developed quite a following now that he's added a 3-point shot to his game.
Lull didn't get a chance to add to his growing fame inside War Memorial Gym by hitting a 3 on Wednesday night. Then again, he didn't need one.
Lull had 20 points and eight rebounds and San Francisco beat California 76-64.
"Not today. I didn't have any open ones," said Lull, who is 5 of 8 from 3-point range this season. "I'm shooting open ones."
Lull shot 7 of 10 while dominating a battle of 7-footers. California's Lars Thiemann was held to two points and three rebounds.
That helped open up the Dons perimeter game. San Francisco made 12 3-pointers, seven shy of its season high but a pivotal factor in the win against California.
Remu Raitanen scored 15 points, and Jamaree Bouyea and Charles Minlend added 10 points apiece for the Dons (8-2), who were playing the second half of a rare back-to-back. San Francisco lost to Arizona State on Tuesday.
"This win really validates what we're doing as a program," Dons coach Todd Golden said. "Validates to our players why we're doing what we're doing. To be able to beat Cal, as long as I'm here I'll always be excited when we're able to win that game."
Kareem South scored a season-high 20 points for the Golden Bears (5-3). Matt Bradley, Cal's leading scorer going into the game, had 11 points but was held out of the starting lineup for disciplinary reasons.
"We finished the first half with about 10 minutes of good defense and that was about all that we played," Bears coach Mark Fox said. "Because in the second half our defense was nowhere near to the level it needs to be to beat a good basketball team."
San Francisco has won two straight against California for the first time since 1986-87 but this was the first time the two teams played at War Memorial Gym since 1997.
"It does feel really good to beat these guys twice in a row," said Lull, who scored 14 points in San Francisco's 79-60 win over California at Hass Pavilion last December.
The Dons made it worth the wait for their fans to get a win at home in this series against their Northern California rivals.
San Francisco led 34-32 at halftime then pulled away behind Lull, who had 13 points in the second half. That included a long hook shot that banked off the backboard and went in to put the Dons ahead 62-50.
The Bears got within 65-56 before Raitanen scored on a three-point play then made consecutive 3s.
California: The Bears definitely looked like a team that hadn't played in more than a week. There was no flow to the offense and most of their 15 turnovers were careless mistakes. Things got heated near the end when two Cal players yelled at each other during a timeout. Coach Mark Fox intervened then spent the next few moments admonishing his team.
San Francisco: The Dons looked a lot more in sync than they had a night earlier in a loss to Arizona State. They attacked inside the paint and from the perimeter, hitting 12 3-pointers after getting 15 in the two previous games combined.
California: Plays at Santa Clara on Saturday. The Bears have won six of the last seven against the Broncos.
San Francisco: The Dons go back on the road to play at Cal State Fullerton on Dec. 14.
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Updated December 5, 2019