Kelly helps Cal pull away to beat Hampton 80-66
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Andre Kelly scored five of his 15 points as part of a pivotal run midway through the second half and California pulled away to beat Hampton 80-66 on Tuesday night.
Paris Austin had 20 points and six assists, Justice Sueing added 17 points and seven rebounds and Darius McNeill scored 11 for California.
The Golden Bears (1-1) led by 17 at halftime then had to hold off a late surge by the Pirates to win their home opener after losing to Yale in China last week.
After Kalin Fisher and Akim Mitchell scored on consecutive layups to cut Cal’s lead to 61-55 with 9:14 remaining, Kelly scored on a three-point play. Austin added two free throws and Kelly made a layup as part of 9-0 run.
Jermain Marrow scored 26 points for Hampton. The Pirates (1-2) are in their first season in the Big South.
Hampton: Give the Pirates credit for hanging around long enough to make a run in the second half but they couldn’t get over the hump in the final four minutes. Marrow looks ready to follow up on his spectacular 2017 season, although he was called for a technical foul in the second half.
California: It definitely wasn’t pretty but for a team that had only eight wins last season, the Bears will take what they can get. Kelly looks to be formidable in the middle and might be Cal’s most versatile center in some time. It also says something that the Bears won despite being beaten on the boards.
Hampton: The Pirates return home to face Bowling Green on Monday. Hampton has won 13 of its last 16 home games.
California: Hosts Detroit Mercy and first-year coach Mike Davis on Thursday in the second round of the Legends Classic before heading to Brooklyn next week for the final two games of the tournament. Davis has 352 career wins at Indiana, Alabama-Birmingham and Texas Southern.
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