Mens Basketball: Riverside 74, California 66 - D1SportsNet


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Mens basketball

Riverside 74, California 66

Alex Larsson scored 15 points and grabbed 13 rebounds and UC Riverside never trailed in defeating California 74-66, spoiling new coach Wyking Jones' debut on Friday night in Berkeley, Calif.

The Highlanders of the Big West Conference were just 7-21 last season, but return three starters and got out of the gate with a big road win of the Bears of the Pac-12.

UC Riverside lost four players, including Larsson to fouls, but the Bears didn't help their cause by missing 15 of their 39 free throws. Cal also shot just 30.6 percent from the floor.

The Highlanders scored the game's first 10 points and Cal didn't register the first points of the Jones Era until the game was 6:05 old. By then, UC Riverside built a 17-3 lead that grew to 40-17 with a 9-0 run late in the first half.

The Bears got 32 points from Don Coleman, despite his shooting 9-for-28 from the floor and 12-for-20 from the foul line.

Brandon Rosser, who fouled out, scored 13 points, Dikymbe Martin had 12 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists and Chance Murray 10 points, nine rebounds and five assists in the win.

Riverside wasn't much better than Cal at the line, going just 12-for-24.

Kingsley Okoroh, the only starter back from last season's 21-13 team, tied Michael Stewart's school record with seven blocked shots and also grabbed a career-high 18 rebounds, while Justice Sueing had 13 points for Cal.

Cal takes another shot at its first win by hosting Cal Poly on Sunday, while the Highlanders are at Loyola Marymount on Wednesday.