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Rapid Reaction: Cal 93, Washington 81

2/12/2010

BERKELEY, Calif. -- Here's my starting five:

  • Cal's Jamal Boykin is playing inspired basketball. He played with intensity from the opening tip, scoring 20 points and a bunch of those in the paint. The transfer from Duke has really found a home here. After one emphatic swat of a Washington shot, the fans just roared.

  • Jorge Gutierrez is still a step slow from a knee injury, yet it's clear how much he means to Cal. The guy does the dirty work, taking the charges no one else wants a part of. He also annoyed Quincy Pondexter. The Bears can only hope his health continues to improve. With 12:10 left, he looked gimpy and asked out of the game momentarily.

  • It was somewhat of a homecoming for Pondexter, who grew up in Fresno. His father Roscoe and mother Doris were in the stands watching along with his brother and sister. Pondexter didn't have his best game, but by the end of the night, he was right around his scoring average with 18 points.

  • Jerome Randle had a big night with 33 points. He had Haas Pavilion silent after going down hard in the second half, but eventually was checked by trainers and checked back in to provide one final highlight - an alley-oop to Patrick Christopher.

  • Crowd favorite Max Zhang got into the game for the first time with 22.3 seconds left. The 7-foot-3 center wasn't needed in this game since Washington forwards might have out-quicked him. Mike Montgomery likes to use Zhang to change the feel of the game, and on this night, Cal was up big the whole time.