Berkeley, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Jordan Mathews' career-high 31 points helped California overcome the worst shooting game of the season from Tyrone Wallace to top No. 21 Washington 81-75 in the Pac-12 opener for both teams.
Mathews only needed 14 shots to net his 31, finishing 5-for-8 from behind the arc and 10-for-12 from the foul line. Wallace, California's undisputed leader and one of the nation's most complete players during non-conference play, had eight rebounds, four assists and four steals but only shot 4-for-20 from the floor. He finished with 19 points thanks in large part to free throws down the stretch.
"It was a big win," said Cal coach Cuonzo Martin. "It was a good night. I thought our fans gave us a tremendous amount of energy."
David Kravish added 21 points and 10 rebounds for Cal (11-3, 1-0 Pac-12), which had lost two straight games heading into conference play.
"I thought David was engaged offensively from start to finish," added Martin.
Nigel Williams-Goss stuffed the stat sheet with 19 points, eight rebounds and nine assists for Washington (11-2, 0-1), losers in two in a row following an 11-0 start to the season.
Robert Upshaw's bid for Pac-12 sixth man of the year continued with another impressive performance, albeit in the loss. The 7-foot transfer from Fresno State had 16 points, eight boards and five blocked shots.
Cal led 15-10 early on following Kravish's tip, but Washington responded with the next eight points and led for the remainder of the first half. The Huskies' lead reached eight points twice before halftime, but was down to 32-27 at the break.
Mathews broke a 38-38 tie with a 3-pointer at 13:54 of the second half, and the Bears led the rest of the way despite never really pulling away.
The margin hovered between three and eight over the next seven-plus minutes. Williams-Goss' dunk at 6:13 had the deficit down to two, and Mike Anderson could have tied the game, but his layup was off the mark on Washington's next trip.
Mathews' 3 a minute later gave the Golden Bears some breathing room, and Wallace's free throws with 1:20 to play gave them their largest lead, 72-61.
Jernard Jarreau and Quevyn Winters hit 3s in the final minute for Washington, but Wallace and the Bears did enough from the foul line to hold the lead.
Cal shooting guard Jabari Bird missed his eighth straight game with a foot injury ... Wallace shot 11-for-12 from the stripe ... Washington got 23 points from its reserves, while Cal's bench players only managed seven points.