BERKELEY -- Freshman forward Jaylen Brown had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Tyrone Wallace helped key a big first-half run that led No. 14 California to its fourth straight win to open the season, 89-63 over Sam Houston State on Monday night.
Jordan Mathews added 18 points and Wallace had 17 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the Golden Bears (4-0), who now prepare to get tested for the first time this season later this week.
After opening with four relatively easy opponents, the Bears will play San Diego State on Thursday night in the semifinals of the Las Vegas Invitational and then either West Virginia or Richmond on Friday. That should provide a truer test of where they stand.
Dakarai Henderson scored 13 points and Jamal Williams added 12 for the Bearkats (1-3), who made just 37 percent of their shots.
The Bearkats stayed close with the more talented Bears for the first 11 minutes. Then they were unable to find the basket, going scoreless for 6:41 during Cal's 15-0 run that put the game out of reach late in the first half.
Brown started it with a dunk that made it 25-20. Wallace then scored on a layup, threw a behind-the-back pass to Brown for a dunk, made another layup and hit two free throws. A jumper by Ivan Rabb made it 38-20 before Sam Houston State finally ended the run on a layup by Torry Butler.
The Bears led 44-29 at the break.
Sam Houston State: The Bearkats missed all 12 shots from the field during their first-half drought, as well as the a front end of a one-and-one by Butler. ... Sam Houston State's only win came against NAIA Saint Thomas.
California: Mathews hit all three of his 3-pointers after going 1 for 5 on Friday against East Carolina. ... The Bears have held all four opponents under 40 percent shooting this season. ... Nick Kerr, the son of Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, got a loud ovation when he entered the game in the closing minutes.
The Bearkats scored the first seven points of the game as they held Cal without a basket on four attempts. The Bears then erased that in 79 seconds on a drive by Brown and back-to-back 3-pointers from Mathews.
Sam Houston State: Against Stetson or Bethune Cookman in Las Vegas on Friday.
California: Against San Diego State in Las Vegas on Thursday.