Golden Bears and Pioneers battle in Berkeley

Nov 26, 2011 - 4:38 PM Berkeley, CA (Sports Network) - The Denver Pioneers put their unbeaten season on the line in Berkeley this evening, as they take on the 20th-ranked California Golden Bears in non-conference action at the Haas Pavilion.

The Pioneers have had a successful start to their 2011-12 campaign, winning all four of their games thus far. Denver has played three of its four games at home thus far with the lone road game resulting in a 65-58 win at Texas A&M- Corpus Christi. The team was last in action on Wednesday when it posted a 70-58 victory over Saint Mary's.

The Golden Bears opened their season with three straight wins and advanced to the title game of the CBE Classic in Kansas City. California was no match however, for the Missouri Tigers in a 92-53 lopsided loss.

California has won both previous meetings with Denver.

Denver's success has been fueled by strong play at the defensive end of the court. The team is holding foes to a mere 57.2 ppg, on under 40 percent shooting. Offensively, the Pioneers have three players currently averaging double figures. Brian Stafford leads the team with 17.0 ppg and is the resident sniper on the roster, hitting 11-of-21 three-points attempts thus far. Chris Udofia and Rob Lewis check in with 15.3 and 10.3 ppg, respectively. In the win over Saint Mary's, Denver received 17 points from Lewis, with Udofia andJustin Coughlin adding 13 and 10 points, respectively.

After posting four comfortable wins to start the season, the Golden Bears felt the sting of the other side, dropping a 39-point decision to Missouri in the title game of the CBE Classic. California shot a mere 25.9 percent from the floor in the first half and trailed by 19 at the break. The second half was more of the same, as the Tigers continued to poor it on. Jorge Gutierrez led the Bears with 11 points, while Justin Cobbs finished with 10. On the season, California is netting 70.6 ppg. Gutierrez and Allen Crabbe are the top scorers through five games, at 13.0 ppg each. Harper Kamp and Cobbs provide scoring depth at 9.8 and 9.4 ppg, respectively.

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