Cal's 19th home basketball victory without a loss against San Jose State was settled quickly Wednesday night at Haas Pavilion.
Playing nearly perfect offensive basketball in the first half, the Golden Bears (7-2) breezed to an 81-36 victory over the Spartans (3-6).
Cal led 43-15 at halftime after shooting 55 percent from the field, 3 for 3 from the 3-point arc and 8 for 8 on free throws. The Bears had 12 assists at halftime to just one for the Spartans, who converted 21.4 percent over the first 20 minutes.
Coach Mike Montgomery tried a new starting lineup, and the Bears responded with a fluid performance, scoring on eight of their first nine possessions for a 17-2 lead. The Bears made the game easier by scoring 10 layups or dunks in the first half alone.
Cal immediately erased any notions of a Spartans' comeback, scoring the first 11 points of the second half for a 54-15 lead. The Spartans missed their first 11 shots from the floor in the second half, their shooting percentage sinking below the driving age to 15.4.
Sophomore Justin Cobbs replaced Brandon Smith at point guard and freshman forward David Kravish got his first career start in place of Richard Solomon, sitting out a second game in an indefinite suspension.
The new combination clicked effortlessly on this night, but it was hardly a serious test. The Spartans were out of it from the start and rarely contested the Bears' many fast-break chances.
Kravish led the Bears with 10 rebounds and two blocked shots in a nine-point outing.
Coming off a 64-63 loss Sunday at San Diego State that knocked them out of the Top-25 rankings, the Bears were sharp defensively, too.
The Spartans didn't reach double digits until Wil Carter scored inside with 3:05 left in the half, and no SJSU player other than Carter scored until the final 2 minutes of the period. At that point, the rest of the Spartans had combined to shoot 0 for 15.
Junior guard James Kinney, who averaged 27.3 points over three previous games, missed all 12 of his shots and was scoreless.
Carter, a senior forward, led the Spartans with 13 points. Freshman D.J. Brown, a left-handed guard, added 11 points, all of them in the second half.
SJSU finished the game at 20.3 percent from the field and was outrebounded 52-32.
The Spartans didn't reach 20 points until 13:13 remained in the game and did not get to 30 until 3:54 was left. By then the Bears led 74-31.
Things don't figure to get appreciably tougher for the Bears in their next outing. Unbeaten in six games at Haas, they play Sunday at home against Jackson State, 1-7 on the year without a victory over a Division I opponent.