Norway’s national team looked like the toughest team on the slate for this European tour, and that appears to be the case as they became the first team to down this version of the Golden Bears by the score of 69-64. It was a closely contested game, with plenty of runs on each side. I guess that this team won’t be running through the pre-season, regular season, and post season undefeated; what a shame.
The Golden Bears jumped out to a 24-12 lead after the first quarter. Norway then outscored Cal 25-12 in the second to take a one point lead at the half, and extended from there to win by the final tally of 69-64. It was a low scoring, slow paced game where Norway ran a tight zone that restricted Cal’s perimeter play. That was evidenced by Allen Crabbe scoring just 7 points, and several other guards having problems scoring.
Not much you can try to take from this game, other than the Bears got beat by an older team that has several years of playing together under their belt. There was some good news, however. Harper Kamp returned to action and scored 12 points, indicating a return to health from his knee problems. The impact of this news cannot be understated; the Bears have their senior leader back. Richard Solomon led the way with 15 points and Justin Cobbs scored 13, but without a box score it’s difficult to tell who were the players who really did well and who did poorly. Cobbs and Solomon are arguably two of the players who can take this team to the next level, so their solid performance is very encouraging.
It’s never good to lose, but the team will surely have plenty to learn from this effort and that’s the whole point of this trip, to learn and get playing experience as a team. Harper Kamp is back on the floor, and that’s far more meaningful than anything that involves a preseason game against Norway. Go Bears!