Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 11/29/11
BERKELEY, CA (AP) -- Jorge Gutierrez scored a season-high 26 points to go with six rebounds and five assists, and No. 24 California matched its best start under coach Mike Montgomery with a 73-57 victory over McNeese State on Monday night. Allen Crabbe had 20 points and six rebounds and Harper Kamp scored 10 for the Golden Bears (6-1), who overcame a shaky first half before opening an 18-point lead. Cal also started 6-1 in Montgomery's first year in 2008. Patrick Richard had 18 points and Dontae Cannon scored 15 for the Cowboys (3-3), going 1-1 on a rare West Coast trip. The defending Southland Conference champions beat Sacramento State two days earlier. The Bears stumbled at the start with a rare lack of hustle against an overmatched opponent. McNeese State's 2-3 zone gave Cal fits, and the small school from Louisiana sucked all the energy out of an already quiet -- and half-empty -- Haas Pavilion for what was supposed to be a tune-up test for the home team. Instead, it almost became an upset. The Cowboys opened with an 8-2 lead capped by Cannon's jumper, diving for loose balls and running into the stands at one point to save a steal. Not until Kamp's jumper more than 7 minutes into the half did Cal take its first lead at 10-8. McNeese State regained the lead and held firm until the buzzer. With the clock ticking down, Gutierrez snatched a defensive rebound and sprinted up court, almost losing his balance until flinging a pass from behind his head at half court to Crabbe on the wing. Crabbe rose up near the Cowboys bench and sunk a 3-pointer as time expired, giving the Bears a 28-26 halftime lead and bringing fans to their feet in the loudest ovation of the night. Everything reverted to form from there. The Bears bolted out on a 10-2 run in the second half highlighted by Richard Solomon's three-point play, converting a layup as he was fouled by Cannon. Cal eventually went ahead 55-37, the Cowboys sliced the deficit before the Bears took control again. Montgomery still won't feel satisfied about his Bears shaky shooting and defense. The play seemed awfully similar to Cal's 92-53 loss at No. 13 Missouri last week -- with the Tigers then-ranked 21st -- before returning home to beat Denver. While the Bears can sneak by in the early going on talent, they'll need more complete performances if they expect to challenge for the Pac-12 title. McNeese State's West Coast trip also included a stop at Sacramento State, where the Cowboys gave coach Dave Simmons his 100th career coaching victory two days earlier. McNeese State overcame a 17-point halftime deficit before rallying for a 68-63 victory at Sacramento State. The finish at Berkeley had far less drama.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
The Worst - NFL Week 3: Steve Smith, Odell Beckham & of course the Browns
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: JJ Watt re-injures back, facing extended absence

Nationals GM: Strasburg ‘unlikely to pitch in NLDS’

Nebraska regent wants players kicked off team for kneeling during anthem

WATCH: Wayne Gretzky tells the hilarious story of his secret Hall of Fame visit

Wilson Ramos done for year with torn ACL

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Sam Allardyce, English FA announce contract termination just 67 days into the job

Report: Clint Dempsey to miss rest of 2016 MLS season

Report: Rose not revealing true concern over rape investigation

UFC 205 headlined by Conor McGregor vs. Eddie Alvarez

Greg Hardy told police someone slipped cocaine in his wallet

Report: LSU will ‘gauge the interest’ of Saban, Meyer, others

The Worst - NFL Week 3: Steve Smith, Odell Beckham & of course the Browns

FIFA 17 review: O jogo bonito

To save his legacy Chris Bosh must first protect his health

What the NBA (and world) looked like before Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan

A fond farewell to Vin Scully

So where will the ACC football championship be played?

Green Beret shares how he helped alter Kaepernick protest

Gordon: Hitting HR for Fernandez ‘best moment of my life’

Box Score: 9/27 - Goodbyes, farewells and hurdles

Kevin Garnett's unique career proves anything is possible

Jose Fernandez joins tragic list of premature departures

15 greatest calls of Vin Scully's career

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The Worst - NFL Week 3: Steve Smith, Odell Beckham & of course the Browns

FIFA 17 review: O jogo bonito

To save his legacy Chris Bosh must first protect his health

What the NBA (and world) looked like before Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan

A fond farewell to Vin Scully

So where will the ACC football championship be played?

Kevin Garnett's unique NBA career proves anything is possible

Jose Fernandez joins tragic list of premature departures

Week 4 in college football as explained by Queen

The good, bad, and ugly from Week 3 in the NFL season

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker