Cal tops Utah: Defense powering Bears to unbeaten start in Pac-12 play

Cuonzo Martin and Cal haven’t lost at home this season. (USATSI)

Cuonzo Martin’s Cal team has started Pac-12 play 2-0 with a pair of quality wins, following up a good win against Colorado on Friday with a great win, beating Utah 71-58 on Sunday night in Haas Pavilion.

Utah entered the game needing a better performance offensively after losing 70-68 in overtime at Stanford. The Bears were probably the worst-possible matchup for the Utes, who will surely be out of the polls on Monday, as this team is playing some of the best defense in the Pac-12 right now.

Utah shot just 38.5 percent from the field for the game and fell behind early, getting a good game from Jakob Poeltl (19 points, 10 rebounds) but ultimately losing the battle the on the boards to a Cal team that has beaten up every team that’s come to Berkely this season.

Freshman Ivan Rabb stood out offensively for the Bears with 19 points and 10 rebounds in an active performance. Cal has now won three straight against good teams (Davidson, Colorado, Utah) since taking Virginia to overtime. The Bears might be in the mix for the top 25 on Monday, but more importantly, they’re looking more and more like a team ready to make a run at a Pac-12 title.


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