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Cal Basketball

Bears Beat Stanford in Thriller

January 26, 2020
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It wasn’t aesthetically pleasing on the offensive side of the ball. But as the final horn sounded at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, the Cal Golden Bears came out on top over rival Stanford Cardinal, 52-50. After two made free-throws by Cal senior guard Paris Austin with 3.2 seconds to go, the Cardinal had the ball down two. An entry pass was made to halfcourt and Stanford’s Bryce Wills made a layup that would’ve tied the game and sent it to overtime, but the ball left his hands after time expired and Cal got away with the win.

While Cal’s (9-10, 3-3) offense didn’t look much improved from its trip to Los Angeles, it was good enough and the Bears’ stifling defense befuddled the Cardinal (15-4, 42) all game. Stanford came into the game atop the Pac-12 standings and one of the Pac-12’s best offensive teams in league play. 

“This win means a lot to us. You know, we fought back as a team,” Austin said after the game. 

“For us to show that fight and just come back and get that win, it was really good for us.”

Fellow fifth-year guard Kareem South echoed the sentiments.

“I think it’s just a testament to us trusting the process. We just kept on fighting,” South, who added 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting, said.

The Bears jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first 84 seconds of game time. South made a three, Paris Austin made a couple of free throws and then a dunk on a fast break after his own steal. Stanford slowly chipped away at Cal’s lead and eventually took the lead but couldn’t pull away. Both teams shot poorly in the first half (Stanford 36% from the field and Cal 32%), but the Cardinal went 6-of-8 from the free-throw line in the first half while the Bears went 2-of-4. The Cardinal took a 23-21 lead into the half.

Stanford opened up an 11-point lead at 39-28 with 12:01 to play in the game. The Cardinal used a 12-2 run lasting over four minutes to open up the lead. It looked like the Bears might have a repeat of last Sunday’s game when it went scoreless for 11 minutes at UCLA. But the Bears fashioned their own 17-2 run over the next seven minutes to build 45-41 lead with 5:24 to play in the game.

Cal clung to the lead until a Wills layup tied the game at 50 with 1:55 to play. Stanford had the ball with less than 45 seconds to play after Grant Anticevich was called for a charge — his fifth foul of the game. Daejon Davis drove into the lane, guarded by Cal’s Joel Brown. Matt Bradley played help defense and the double-team caused Davis to lose the ball with 26 seconds to play. With the shot clock off, Cal would get the final shot. While driving to the hoop with 3.2 seconds to play, Davis fouled Austin, sending him to the line where he made the game-winning free-throws.

“We have matured,” Head Coach Mark Fox said after the game. “We’ve become a little bit more battle-tested.” 

“I think this team has continued to come back and learn from what happened before,” Fox later added. “And we try to learn from every game.”

Both Austin and Fox confirmed the final play was designed for Austin in isolation.

“Everybody thought Matt Bradley was going to be the guy,” Fox said. “But we were in the bonus and Paris had the hot hand. I knew he could draw a foul and we could win at the free-throw line.”

“He just wasn’t going to get beat today.”

Austin led all scorers with 15 points on 4-of-10 shooting. Austin went 7-of-8 from the free-throw line while adding four assists and one turnover. Bradley also added 14 points on 4-of-14 shooting from the field. Both Austin and Bradley keyed the run that led to Cal’s eventual win. Down 39-28, Austin made back-to-back driving layups to bring Cal back within seven points. Bradley scored Cal’s next nine points to tie the game at 41. And a couple Austin free-throws officially put Cal in the lead for the first time in the second half at 43-41.

Cal shot just 33% (18-of-55) from the field, but turned Stanford over 15 times to just seven of its own turnovers. The Bears lost the rebounding battle 33-32, but had nine offensive rebounds to Stanford’s four. Cal also had nine assists while limiting the Cardinal to just five. Most impressively, Cal held the Cardinal to just 17% shooting from three. Coming into the game the Cardinal was shooting 40% from long-range, which ranked seventh in the country.

In both matchups between the team, Cal has held Stanford’s leading scorer Oscar da Silva under his season average of 16.2 points per game. At Stanford, Da Silva scored just eight points and on Sunday in Berkeley, the 6-9 forward led the Cardinal in scoring but with just 13. The Bears were able to contain Davis more this game as well. In Palo Alto, the junior guard who averages less than nine points per game poured in 20. But in Berkeley, he was held to 12 on 5-of-9 shooting. 

“Today was a great win. And it was a great win because our team is fighting to rebuild the program and those kids deserve to be rewarded,” Fox said after the game. “It’s a great win because, you know, we had great fan support and they were right there with us. It’s a great win because we beat a good Stanford team. It’s a great win for a lot of reasons.”

The Bears are proving to be a tough out at home and are now 3-0 in Pac-12 play at Haas Pavilion. With the win, Cal moves into a three-way tie with Arizona and Arizona State for fifth place in the conference. Cal is off till Thursday when Oregon comes to Berkeley.

Other post-game presser notes:

Fox, South, and Austin all spoke about the tragic passing of basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and the seven other victims on the helicopter that crashed in Calabasas. 

“Kobe was my Jordan,” Austin said.

Fox didn’t give any injury updates on Juhwan Harris-Dyson or Jacobi Gordon.

According to Fox, Austin has been practicing better over the past few weeks.

“He’s practiced unbelievably,” Fox said. 

https://youtu.be/FHj4r84brAQ

Discussion from...

Bears Beat Stanford in Thriller

2,931 Views | 11 Replies | Last: 18 days ago by chazzed
GoOskie
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Go Bears!!!


dimitrig
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I love it!

You know it. You tell the story. Tell the whole damn world this is Bear Territory!
PtownBear1
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Wow nice win

HoopDreams
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Gutty win vs rival Stanford

Includes a big comeback from 11 down in the second half

Teams are keying on Matt, and when that happens it seems like our best option is Paris. But that depends on matchups and defenses (can't drive on a zone)

I think Fox has figured out that to be successful, this team needs Paris's offense

The Paris dunk was perhaps the best in the season (and the Paris to Kelly ally oop was pretty cool too). I've been waiting for that for 5 seasons. Also saw Paris make a floater. It wasn't pretty, but it went down.

I've also seen entry passes to the post, followed by kickouts, and then the ball swinging two, three times. A thing of beauty, and it is executed perfectly at least once/game over the last several. I saw Matt drive hard and then pass.

It may not look like it often, but I see the players are starting to get it.

I also like that the players stick to the game plan. Even when down big, they don't panic and don't try to get it all back in one possession. Playing smart.

Nice to see some shots dropping for South, although he missed some wide open 3s. He saw the lane open twice and got to the rack and finished.

When the game was in it's final minute, I figured Stanford would give the ball to Davis, who is the bane of Cal basketball in the closing minute of tight games. But Brown defended him perfectly and Matt's double was also perfect. Play of the game.

The last play was a crime. The stanford player should never have been able to receive a pass at mid-court and have a clear path right down the middle of the court. However, DJ made a perfect defensive play. DJ is so fundamental in those situations...jumping straight up and keeping his hands straight up. It's great that a freshmen can wall up like that without trying to block the shot all the time. It would absolutely have been a foul if he tried. But his defense forced the stanford player to double pump, and that caused his shot to be a tenth of a second late

Great team win
Bearprof
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If I'm not mistaken, fox inserted Thorpe after the first free-throw. I saw him talking animatedly to him, presumably explaining to him to stand near the basket and create an effective shield against penetration. I wonder if that created the problem that we had only four other players defending the five Stanford players leaving one open to drive to the hoop. Still, the instructions to Thorpe were super effective. The Stanford player double pumped: if he'd released the ball after the first pump he would've beat the clock. Big difference maker.
HoopDreams
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Bearprof said:

If I'm not mistaken, fox inserted Thorpe after the first free-throw. I saw him talking animatedly to him, presumably explaining to him to stand near the basket and create an effective shield against penetration. I wonder if that created the problem that we had only four other players defending the five Stanford players leaving one open to drive to the hoop. Still, the instructions to Thorpe were super effective. The Stanford player double pumped: if he'd released the ball after the first pump he would've beat the clock. Big difference maker.
DJ was defending a stanford big that was in the paint, but when he saw the Stanford guard driving to the basket he slid over and then jumped straight up with both arms straight up. DJ who is very athletic and strong did not attempt to block the shot or do anything that would tempt a ref to blow a whistle

Judgement, timing and execution was perfect and DJ deserves a lot of credit for preserving the win
chazzed
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Congratulations, young men! Beating Stanford is always seriously appreciated. May this be another stepping stone to a more lofty perch.
Cal8285
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HoopDreams said:

Bearprof said:

If I'm not mistaken, fox inserted Thorpe after the first free-throw. I saw him talking animatedly to him, presumably explaining to him to stand near the basket and create an effective shield against penetration. I wonder if that created the problem that we had only four other players defending the five Stanford players leaving one open to drive to the hoop. Still, the instructions to Thorpe were super effective. The Stanford player double pumped: if he'd released the ball after the first pump he would've beat the clock. Big difference maker.
DJ was defending a stanford big that was in the paint, but when he saw the Stanford guard driving to the basket he slid over and then jumped straight up with both arms straight up. DJ who is very athletic and strong did not attempt to block the shot or do anything that would tempt a ref to blow a whistle

Judgement, timing and execution was perfect and DJ deserves a lot of credit for preserving the win
DJ seemed to get there in time and stayed outside the arc, at least until the player arrived with the ball and his jump took him backwards.

I'm not sure what happens if he jumps straight up and there is a lot more contact, do the officials call a foul? Do that call it on DJ or do they call an offensive foul? I'm not sure, but it doesn't matter, because DJ's defense worked out perfectly.
Bearprof
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I guess I should've had another look at it: sounds like I didn't get it quite right. In any case I have another memory from having Watched live, which may be incorrect. I thought I heard a whistle right after the ball went in, which I thought was a foul call. That would've been a major disaster Had time not run: not only a basket to tie but the free-throw could've won the game. Am I wrong about that?
bearister
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chazzed said:

Congratulations, young men! Beating Stanford is always seriously appreciated. May this be another stepping stone to a more lofty perch.


I apologize for this but after all, you are the one that used the triggering term:




Men's Basketball Standings | Pac-12


https://pac-12.com/mens-basketball/standings
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chazzed
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Oh, my bad.
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