Govs and Bears duke it out in Berkeley

Nov 15, 2011 - 4:23 PM Berkeley, CA (Sports Network) - The 23rd-ranked California Golden Bears go in search of their third straight win to open the 2011-12 season, as they play host to the Austin Peay Governors tonight as part of the College Basketball Experience.

Austin Peay, which calls the Ohio Valley Conference home, is playing its first game in the Golden State in the 21 years head coach Dave Loos has been at the helm, and the Governors are hoping to bounce back strong after dropping an 80-71 decision at Middle Tennessee in their season opener last Friday. The Govs will play their first six games away from home, with their first fray in front of the APSU faithful coming on November 26 against the same Middle Tennessee squad they faced in the opener.

California is 2-0 on the young season thanks to home wins over UC Irvine (77-56) and George Washington (81-54). The Golden Bears, who will play their first road game of the campaign next Monday at Georgia, improved to 22-3 in non-conference home tilts under fourth-year head coach Mike Montgomery. If early success is any indication, Cal should challenge for the Pac-12 Conference title this year.

This game marks the first-ever meeting between Austin Peay and California in men's basketball.

Austin Peay is expected to play this game without its top inside player in forward John Fraley, who sustained a concussion in the opener against Middle Tennessee. With Fraley out of action, the Govs will throw a much smaller lineup at the Golden Bears, and will need guys like TyShawn Edmondson and Josh Terry to elevate their games even more. Edmondson scored 20 points in the opening loss to the Blue Raiders, while Terry added 17. As a team, Austin Peay shot just 39 percent from the field in the loss, while Middle Tennessee hit its shots at a blistering 55.1 percent. The Govs, who claimed a 41-34 edge on the glass, committed 19 turnovers while doing their best to take advantage of the 20 miscues turned in by the Blue Raiders.

California went on a 21-0 run at the end of the first half to pull away from George Washington on Sunday, eventually winding up with the 81-54 victory. Allen Crabbe paced the Bears with 21 points, while Justin Cobbs and Jorge Gutierrez tallied 16 and 15 points, respectively. As a team, Cal drained 56 percent of its total shots, including 8-of-13 three-point tries, while logging a 33-17 edge in bench points and holding GW to 37.9 percent field goal efficiency. A 38-22 rebounding advantage also played an integral role in the outcome, as did a 17-3 edge in points from the foul line. Through two games, Crabbe is averaging 22.5 points and the team as a whole owns a scoring differential of +24.

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