Cal saw a huge upgrade in competition from their first to their second opponent in their Australian exhibition tour. After facing what amounted to an All-Star team of what seems to be mostly U18ers in Victoria Select, Cal upgraded to the Frankston Blues, a semiprofessional team in the South East Australian Basketball League (consider it the Triple A of Australian hoops). They’re not the greatest squad (they’re way in last place), but these are seasoned vets (average age in the late 20s). Cal needed to muster a lot more to beat Frankston, and it took a big second half comeback to get them there.
Jaylen Brown and Tyrone Wallace anchored a furious 23-7 run in the second half that erased a 10 point third quarter deficit. Brown had a personal 6-0 run to cut a seven point deficit to one, and Wallace scored eight of ten points in a two and a half minute stretch in the fourth quarter to put Cal ahead for good.
Sam Singer added two consecutive buckets to keep Cal ahead by multiple possessions, and Ivan Rabb would score the final three buckets. The Cal defense held Frankston to a late three pointer in the final 3:50, and allowed Cal to hold a comfortable enough lead down the stretch.
Brown finished with 19 points (8-17 FG), five rebounds, four steals and four turnovers. Wallace put in 18 points (7-12 FG), five rebounds and four assists. Rabb added 14 points on 7-9 shooting to go along with seven rebounds, and Bird put in 13 points and six rebounds.
Despite the offensive heroics, the Cal defense was the star of the second half. Cal held Frankston to 27 points in the second half (15 in the 3rd, 12 in the 4th), and were particularly good at closing out quarters (Frankston only scored 3 points in the final 4:30 of the 3rd as well).
Cal shot 46% from the field and over 55% from two, but turned the ball over 14 times and had only 11 assists. Lots of things to work on, as Cuonzo Martin wasn’t particularly pleased afterwards.