BERKELEY, Calif. (AP)– Sure, Charlie Moore has heard of Shareef Abdur-Rahim. When told he had just broken the former NBA star’s California freshman record at this early stage of the season, he was thrilled.
”I was like, `Oh, wow, that’s a pretty big accomplishment,”’ he said, smiling.
The Golden Bears needed somebody to carry the load with three starters and key playmakers sitting out injured and a cold first half.
Moore scored 38 points to top Abdur-Rahim’s mark of 33 points set in November 1995, Stephen Domingo hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 3:10 left in overtime, and short-handed No. 25 Cal held off UC Irvine 75-65 on Wednesday night.
Kameron Rooks’ tip-in with 23 seconds left in regulation tied the game and Jaron Martin failed to get off a shot for the Anteaters (1-2). Rooks scored a career-high 15 points to go with eight rebounds as Cal extended its home winning streak at Haas Pavilion to 21.
Martin scored a career-best 26 points with three key baskets over the final 6:11 of regulation.
”He’s been on this stage for a long time,” coach Cuonzo Martin said. ”He’s played in big games since he was a freshman in high school. He’s not fazed by this atmosphere.”
Cal (2-0) missed three starters because of injuries: preseason All-America Ivan Rabb (toe), Jabari Bird (back spasms) and Columbia transfer Grant Mullins (neck strain). Martin hopes to have all three back for the next game.
”We don’t want to have any excuses after the game, we have key guys out,” he said. ”Probably one of the better wins of my coaching career, seeing guys compete and battle and not make excuses.”
Moore’s three-point play with 1:53 left in regulation pulled Cal to 62-60. Martin missed a 3 on the other end and a jumper in the paint with 44 seconds remaining and Cal had one more chance with 35.7 seconds left.
”It’s unbelievable,” Rooks said. ”Charlie’s a great player. In practice you can see how hard he works, very scrappy.”
Moore shot 10 for 20 from the field with three 3-pointers and made 15 of 17 free throws. Domingo finished with 11 points and nine rebounds.
Cal overcame a drought of 10:33 without a basket spanning the halves before Moore’s 3-pointer at the 17:22 mark of the second half.
The Bears missed seven straight shots late in the first half, 9 of 10 and 14 of 16, going without a field goal for the final 7:55 of the half after Domingo’s 3-pointer.
Moore made his first three shots with two 3s to score eight of Cal’s initial 11 points. At halftime, the Bears
Cal’s Sam Singer shot 1 for 7 in the first half and missed five of his six 3-point tries as Cal shot 26.1 percent to trail 31-23 at halftime.
UC Irvine: Brandon Smith added a key block against the 7-foot-1 Rooks late. … The Anteaters didn’t commit their first turnover until 3:10 before halftime after Cal already had seven. … Both teams already had a common opponent with lopsided victories against South Dakota State. … The Anteaters haven’t beaten Cal since Dec. 2, 2000.
California: The Bears’ unbeaten run at home dates to March 1, 2015. … Cal leads the series 7-2 and has won the last four meetings. … The Bears held South Dakota State to 28.6 percent shooting in an 82-53 season-opening win Friday.
BACK TO THE BAY
Seventh-year Irvine coach Russell Turner, a former Golden State Warriors assistant from 2004-10 who worked under Don Nelson and also coached at Stanford with Mike Montgomery, brought his 9-year-old son, Darius, along on the trip. The fourth-grader sat through study table and took a campus tour at Cal, then was on the bench during warmups.
”He’s counting curse words. I owe him a quarter for each of them,” Turner said. ”It might be expensive. I’m trying to break my NBA habits.”