NCAA

UNLV runs past Bears in the desert 85-68

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UNLV runs past Bears in the desert 85-68

BOX SCORE

LAS VEGAS (APCSN) California did not want to go into conference play this way.

The Golden Bears ran into a faster and more athletic UNLV team on Friday, losing 85-68 to the 21st-ranked Rebels.

Justin Cobbs led the Bears (10-3) with 20 points and five assists.

"(UNLV is) good and they played good," California coach Mike Montgomery said. "We had two primary guys not having good shooting nights. We didn't do the little things."

California enters the Pac-12 portion of its schedule playing host to USC next Thursday.

UNLV, meanwhile keeps having statement games.

First, it was beating then-No. 1 North Carolina last month. Last Saturday, UNLV beat then-No. 19 Illinois in Chicago.

On Friday, Anthony Marshall had 22 points and nine rebounds to lead UNLV (13-2).

"I have great teammates," Marshall said. "Everyone on the team gets along. We are brothers. We got some defensive stops that helped get our offense going."

Chace Stanback had 15 points and Mike Moser added 14 points and eight rebounds for the Rebels (13-2), who have won all eight games this season at the Thomas & Mack Center and 11 overall in Las Vegas.

Oscar Bellfield had 11 points and 11 assists for UNLV, which shot 49 percent from the field and had 22 assists.

"I told the team that for about 35 of the 40 minutes we were sensational," UNLV coach Dave Rice said. "We had about 5 minutes where our effort and execution lacked. But overall, I knew that today we would play well. We are always confident going into games. We were locked into what we were trying to do."

Justin Cobbs had 20 points and five assists for the Golden Bears (10-3), while Allen Crabbe had 13 points and six rebounds and Harper Kamp added 12 points and nine rebounds.

Jorge Gutierrez had 12 points and six rebounds for California.

"They're a fast-tempo team," said Gutierrez, who played high school basketball at Findlay Prep in Las Vegas. "We were not used to that fast of a tempo. In the first half, shots were not going in. (Coach Mike Montgomery) was telling us to get the ball inside. We took the 15-footers. We should have gone inside more."

Leading 46-26, the Rebels opened the second half by hitting consecutive 3-pointers and eventually built their largest lead at 72-45 with 8:41 remaining. The Golden Bears cut the lead to 13 points three times in the final 4 minutes.

With the Rebels' win, the Mountain West Conference is 11-3 against the Pac-12 this season.

"We got off to a tough start," Montgomery said. "We were not great defensively. Ball was going in for them and not for us. Marshall and Bellfield were good off the pick-and-roll. Our guys were right there. We didn't do little things. We didn't block off missed free throws."

After California led 5-2, the Rebels dominated, taking the lead for good at 11-8 on a 3-pointer by Moser with 15:52 left. The Rebels went on a 21-6 run after the Bears cut it to 15-14.

Stanback capped the half with a 3-pointer from the right corner at the buzzer.

"Offensively, it definitely felt good that we were trying to find the open man," Stanback said. "Defensively, we wanted to be aggressive, just close out as hard as we can."

The Rebels had 14 assists in the first half, nine by Bellfield. In the first half, UNLV shot 54 percent from the field and 5 of 11 from 3-point range. The Rebels finished 9 of 24.

California shot 32 percent from the field in the first half and finished at 38 percent for the game.

UNLV leads the all-time series 4-1.

The Rebels have three more games before starting conference play at San Diego State on Jan. 14.

Cal was without starting center Richard Solomon for the second straight game, as he continues to nurse a foot injury.

Louisville has 'effectively fired' head coach Rick Pitino

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AP

Louisville has 'effectively fired' head coach Rick Pitino

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Louisville has placed coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich on administrative leave amid a federal bribery investigation.

Jurich is on paid leave, while Pitino is on unpaid leave. The coach’s attorney, Steve Spence, told the Courier-Journal Wednesday that Louisville has “effectively fired” Pitino.

Pitino’s exit comes after the school acknowledged on Tuesday that the men’s program is part of a federal investigation into alleged bribery of recruits. The 65-year-old coach was not named in the indictment that resulted in the arrest of 10 people including four assistant coaches at other schools and an Adidas executive.

It is the latest black eye for the Cardinals program. Pitino and Louisville are in the middle of appealing NCAA sanctions following an embarrassing sex scandal.

Jurich has supported Pitino through his transgressions during the athletic director’s nearly 20-year tenure at the university.

Cal fights USC into fourth quarter, can't complete the upset

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AP

Cal fights USC into fourth quarter, can't complete the upset

BOX SCORE

BERKELEY -- Stephen Carr ran for a fourth-quarter touchdown two plays after Southern California's defense forced one of its six turnovers and the fifth-ranked Trojans won their 13th straight game, 30-20 over California on Saturday.

USC (4-0, 2-0 Pac-12) has dominated the series with its in-state rival by winning 14 straight against the Golden Bears (3-1, 0-1), but this was one of the tightest matchups in years as the game was tied early in the fourth quarter.

Sam Darnold threw for 223 yards and two touchdowns for the Trojans but also had an interception and was under pressure for much of the day.

It was the defense that stepped up for USC, intercepting a pass from Ross Bowers in the first quarter to set up a field goal and then delivering the big play early in the fourth quarter after Chase McGrath gave the Trojans a 16-13 lead with his third field goal of the game.

Josh Fatu knocked the ball out of Bowers' hand and Uchenna Nwosu recovered the fumble at the 3. Carr ran it in two plays later from the 2 to make it 23-13.

Ykili Ross then intercepted Bowers' pass on the next possession, setting up Darnold's 4-yard TD pass to Deontay Burnett that put away the game.

Bowers finished 22 for 50 for 303 yards with one touchdown, four interceptions and two lost fumbles.

THE TAKEAWAY

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: The Trojans struggled for much of the game without starting RB Ronald Jones (ankle) and WR Steven Mitchell (groin) but managed to pull away late in their first road game of the season.

CALIFORNIA: The Bears used an improved defense to start 3-0 under first-year coach Justin Wilcox but this was supposed to be the test of how far they had come. Cal showed plenty by sticking with a national title contender for three quarters. A sequence on the opening drive of the second will haunt the Bears. Patrick Laird dropped a potential TD in the end zone and Matt Anderson then missed a 29-yard field goal that kept the game tied at 13.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

A win against an unranked team should do little to alter USC's poll position.

UP NEXT

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Visits No. 18 Washington State on Friday.

CALIFORNIA: Visits No. 24 Oregon on Saturday.