ANAHEIM — Allen Crabbe scored 24 points, Justin Cobbs added 20, and California pulled away in the final 6 minutes to beat Pacific 78-58 on Sunday to win the DirecTV Classic.
The Golden Bears, who are off to their first 6-0 start 2007, were 22 for 25 on free throws. Five of their victories have been by double-digit margins.
Cal leads 26-2 in the all-time series between the Northern California schools, which are 80 miles apart. The Bears came in with nine straight wins against Pacific since their previous loss to the Tigers in 1954. This was the first meeting since Dec. 9, 2009, when Cal beat Pacific 79-54 in the first Division I basketball game at the Stockton Arena.
Ross Rivera scored 13 points for Pacific (3-3), which shot 34.4 percent and went 3 of 17 from 3-point range. Shooting guard Sama Taku missed all eight of his shots after going 16 of 32 from the field over his previous four games.
Trailing by 14 points at halftime, Pacific rallied within 53-45 after Trevin Harris was fouled by Crabbe on a 3-point shot and sank all three free throws. Lorenzo McCloud triggered a 6-0 spurt by the Tigers and Khalil Kelley’s jump-hook narrowed the gap to 59-54.
But Cal responded with a three-point play by David Kravish, a fastbreak layup by Crabbe and another driving layup by Cobbs for a 66-54 cushion with 5:25 to play — beginning a game-ending 19-4 run.
Crabbe led Cal to a 41-27 halftime lead with 14 points. The Bears opened the game with a 7-0 run and extended the margin to 23-8 with 10 in a row — including seven free throws followed by Brandon Smith’s 3-pointer at 11:30 before intermission. The largest discrepancy in the half was at the foul line, where Cal was 13 of 15 and Pacific 3 of 4.
The Tigers entered this tournament with a decided advantage over the other seven schools, having gone on a summer tour in France that allowed coach Bob Thomason to have the team together for 10 extra practices. They began his 25th and final season at Pacific 1-2 before beating Xavier 70-67 in Thursday’s first round and Saint Mary’s 76-66 on Friday.
The Bears had the luxury of playing the late game all three days of the eight-team tournament, which they began with a 73-70 victory over Drake before beating Georgia Tech 68-57 the following day. All of the teams played three games each.