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Cal Basketball

Bears on Fire From Perimeter, Pound Stanford 92-70

January 6, 2023
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Berkeley - Continuing their run of good play, the Bears won their third of their last four games this season and second straight Pac-12 contest in tonight's impressive 92-70 win over Stanford. The decisive win came despite leading scorer Devin Askew being unavailable for the second straight game. 

The Bears came out of the gate on fire from the perimeter, hitting eight of the first 10 shots from the arc, with guard Dejuan Clayton and wing Sam Alajiki hitting four and three of their first shots from deep a piece to start the game. Clayton finished the night with a game-high 26 points along with 6 assists, going 6-for-8 from 3 as the Bears finished with a scoring 72% from the arc and 59% from the field in the big win over the Cardinal. Alajiki finished with a personal-best 19 points, also going a sterling 6-for-8 from 3 to match Clayton. Overall, the Bears tied a team record with 16 3-pointers in the win.

“Really happy for our players and our fans,” said Cal head coach Mark Fox after the game. “We went into this game understanding the importance of the rivalry. We told our team at the beginning of the week and even as soon as the Colorado game ended the other night, this game is different. We practiced very hard and we prepared very hard.

“We didn’t defend very well, give them credit (50% from the field). We couldn’t stop them. But we also found a rhythm and it’s amazing the difference that Dejuan makes on our team. You’ve seen it the last couple games. If we’d have had him for the first 13, who knows what we could’ve been. 

“He was terrific in his ability to score the ball but he also had 6 assists and no turnovers. He makes everybody better. Really, a complete team effort.”

Forward Kuany Kuany also had a career-high 19 points in the win, going 5-for-7 from the field, 3-of-4 from 3 and a perfect 5-for-5 from the line in the Bears’ romp over their rivals from across the bay. He also added five rebounds and three assists in his best game as a Bear.

The victory was the first 90-point offensive output and highest percentage from the field the Bears have totaled since 2015.

The Cardinal started the game hot from the perimeter and were able to penetrate consistently and pull down offensive rebounds early, leading the first 7 minutes of play before the Bears knotted things at 32 with 5 minutes left in the half before the Bears took a lead they’d never relinquish.



The Bears extended their lead to 8 at the break, going on a 9-0 run and closing on an ND Okafor dunk and a nifty layup from Marsalis Roberson on a nice wraparound pass from point guard Joel Brown, who led the Bears with 7 assists on the night.

After the Bears went up by 10 after the break, Stanford was able to get no closer than 7 after a pair of 3’s from Spencer Jones (13 points) and Michael Jones (14 points) narrowed the Bears’ lead to 50-43 two minutes into the half but back-to-back 3’s from frosh forward Grant Newell (7 points, 4 rebounds) and Kuany pushed the lead to double digits the rest of the game.

After the Bears built the lead up to 21 with 5:45 left in the game on another Alajiki 3, unlike their narrow win over Colorado where they wilted under a fullcourt press so see a similar lead whittled down to 2, the Bears remained composed throughout, not allowing Stanford to make a run of any kind.

The Bears also had their highest assist output of the year with 22 compared to Stanford’s 13 and they also outrebounded the Cardinal 30-25. They took care of the ball most of the night as well, limiting their turnovers to 10 in the victory.


"We're not the 0-12 team you guys saw," said Alajiki after the game. "We didn't have DeJuan. We didn't get to play together a lot. We are a completely different team now. Everyone can feel it."

After beginning the season 0-12, the Bears have won three of four and moved with to a 7th place tie with Colorado at 2-3 in conference play. Cal returns to the court Wednesday at Washington State. The game tips off at 8 p.m. and will air on ESPNU.

Related:

Bears Close Out 2022 on a High Note With 80-76 Win Over Colorado

Discussion from...

Bears on Fire From Perimeter, Pound Stanford 92-70

2,991 Views | 28 Replies | Last: 17 days ago by HoopDreams
BearoutEast67
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I had a good feeling about Clayton. I'm glad the team got to pick up the pace on offense!
MoragaBear
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Fox said before the season Clayton would be their best scoring threat.

Who saw a team who was winless two weeks ago being tied for 7th and a win over the team they're tied with 5 games into conference play?

dimitrig
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MoragaBear said:

Fox said before the season Clayton would be their best scoring threat.

Who saw a team who was winless two weeks ago being tied for 7th and a win over the team they're tied with 5 games into conference play?




I guess the Pac-12 must be pretty weak.

Big C
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Thanks for including the video of Alijiki's 3 that bounced straight up... then straight down through the net. Watching it live, I thought I'd never seen anything quite like it (how high it bounced). That's when I said. "this is our night".

Great to see Sam and DeJuan smiling in the post-game. After what these Golden Bears have been through, it felt really good for me to see that (more so for them, no doubt).
BearoutEast67
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This team has found its identity. The freshmen are coming into their own - good recruiting!
graguna
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I am both shocked and excited about the way CAL is now playing.
They way they looked last night, they could beat most PAC 12 team, not would but could.

Last night's game was so much fun to watch.

If CAL has indeed turned their season around, it will have been the most abrupt turn around I've ever seen.
BearBones
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Our group of four went to the game last night ever hopeful but (given Cal's season start) with expectations firmly in check. Boy, were we surprised. Clayton, Alajiki and Kuany were on fire. We had a blast!
HoopDreams
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i don't think i've seen 3 point shooting like that from Cal or any college team. 16 threes on 73% shooting vs a P6 team!

Clayton, Sam and 2K were on fire, and Grant and even Roberson were 1-1 from deep

We weren't particularly scoring inside so i didn't understand why stanford's perimeter defense was so bad. of course it wasn't just bad defense, the bears were just in a homecourt zone

59bear
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Unconcious! Nearly tripling the season avg for 3 pt success borders on miraculous!
Big C
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graguna said:

I am both shocked and excited about the way CAL is now playing.
They way they looked last night, they could beat most PAC 12 team, not would but could.

Last night's game was so much fun to watch.

If CAL has indeed turned their season around, it will have been the most abrupt turn around I've ever seen.


Exactly. It's not that they are so great now (although they shot great last night), but the difference between now and only ten days ago is almost unbelievable. Like two different teams.
Civil Bear
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Tied the school record for most made 3's. Factor in 3pt%, and it was the single greatest 3pt shooting game in Cal history.

I guess they were due?
MoragaBear
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MoragaBear said:

Fox said before the season Clayton would be their best scoring threat.

Who saw a team who was winless two weeks ago being tied for 7th and a win over the team they're tied with 5 games into conference play?


Colorado, who Cal is tied with for 7th (but Cal has the tiebreaker) just pummeled 6th place Oregon by 28.
calumnus
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MoragaBear said:

MoragaBear said:

Fox said before the season Clayton would be their best scoring threat.

Who saw a team who was winless two weeks ago being tied for 7th and a win over the team they're tied with 5 games into conference play?


Colorado, who Cal is tied with for 7th (but Cal has the tiebreaker) just pummeled 6th place Oregon by 28.


Crazy. We are destroying RPIs. When this is done only the PAC-12 Tournament winner will be in the NCAA Tournament with an autobid.

Schadenfurd!
socaltownie
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Furd was awful defensively so don't count your foxes just yet. Rotation was slllloooooowwwww and they were comical in how poorly they fought over Lars' high screens. Happy the kids knocked down wide open threes.
Take care of your Chicken
CalLifer
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socaltownie said:

Furd was awful defensively so don't count your foxes just yet. Rotation was slllloooooowwwww and they were comical in how poorly they fought over Lars' high screens. Happy the kids knocked down wide open threes.
The only thing I will say which is a bit of a positive trend is that in our 3 wins (three of our last four games), we have scored our three highest point totals of the season. It's not 100% clear to me that this is a concerted plan and that our offensive plan has changed away from the "ignore open shots for 25 second and then take the best shot available in the last 5 seconds of the shot clock", but some of the other posts suggest that we have actually looked to shoot early in the clock. Is Fox actually learning? Did he hand over the control of the offense to Francis or another assistant? I'm not sure. But there does seem to be something different about the last few games (of course, we do have a 43 point effort against Utah interspersed there, but maybe you say it's a two-game trend and ignore the UTA game).
socaltownie
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CalLifer said:

socaltownie said:

Furd was awful defensively so don't count your foxes just yet. Rotation was slllloooooowwwww and they were comical in how poorly they fought over Lars' high screens. Happy the kids knocked down wide open threes.
The only thing I will say which is a bit of a positive trend is that in our 3 wins (three of our last four games), we have scored our three highest point totals of the season. It's not 100% clear to me that this is a concerted plan and that our offensive plan has changed away from the "ignore open shots for 25 second and then take the best shot available in the last 5 seconds of the shot clock", but some of the other posts suggest that we have actually looked to shoot early in the clock. Is Fox actually learning? Did he hand over the control of the offense to Francis or another assistant? I'm not sure. But there does seem to be something different about the last few games (of course, we do have a 43 point effort against Utah interspersed there, but maybe you say it's a two-game trend and ignore the UTA game).
What I saw in the Furd game was a team looking for its shot A LOT earlier. But here is the thing. They were making them. So you don't know if we had finally started missing whether Fox would have called a TO, yelled at them, and then reverted to slow ball. I am not convinced this lasts through a shooting slump.
Take care of your Chicken
CalLifer
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socaltownie said:

CalLifer said:

socaltownie said:

Furd was awful defensively so don't count your foxes just yet. Rotation was slllloooooowwwww and they were comical in how poorly they fought over Lars' high screens. Happy the kids knocked down wide open threes.
The only thing I will say which is a bit of a positive trend is that in our 3 wins (three of our last four games), we have scored our three highest point totals of the season. It's not 100% clear to me that this is a concerted plan and that our offensive plan has changed away from the "ignore open shots for 25 second and then take the best shot available in the last 5 seconds of the shot clock", but some of the other posts suggest that we have actually looked to shoot early in the clock. Is Fox actually learning? Did he hand over the control of the offense to Francis or another assistant? I'm not sure. But there does seem to be something different about the last few games (of course, we do have a 43 point effort against Utah interspersed there, but maybe you say it's a two-game trend and ignore the UTA game).
What I saw in the Furd game was a team looking for its shot A LOT earlier. But here is the thing. They were making them. So you don't know if we had finally started missing whether Fox would have called a TO, yelled at them, and then reverted to slow ball. I am not convinced this lasts through a shooting slump.
Agreed, I definitely don't know how much rope Fox will give them if they aren't hitting those early looks. At the same time, taking open shots in rhythm early in the clock is much more conducive to good offense than wasting 25 seconds and taking the best shot available in the last 5 seconds of the clock. Maybe Fox has learned something. But we will see. With this team, a poor shooting night may not be too far off.
LessMilesMoreTedford
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my biggest takeaway is Stanford sucks.
HoopDreams
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https://www.instagram.com/reel/CnKzb2gh8S-/
MoragaBear
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HoopDreams said:

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CnKzb2gh8S-/

We choppin' trees!
oskidunker
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That blond in the student section is always featured in any clips. If you are a student, you need to meet her.
Go Bears!
bearsandgiants
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Watched the whole game. While the shooting was exciting it's not repeatable on a regular basis. We played terrible defense and didn't rebound for squat. Beating up the furd is always great but until this team plays D and rebounds, we aren't going anywhere and that's basic fundamental basketball. We should have won the game by 60 if we had played decent D.
MoragaBear
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bearsandgiants said:

Watched the whole game. While the shooting was exciting it's not repeatable on a regular basis. We played terrible defense and didn't rebound for squat. Beating up the furd is always great but until this team plays D and rebounds, we aren't going anywhere and that's basic fundamental basketball. We should have won the game by 60 if we had played decent D.
The rebounding was poor in the beginning and could've been better overall, they still outrebounded Stanford 30-25.
KoreAmBear
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MoragaBear said:

bearsandgiants said:

Watched the whole game. While the shooting was exciting it's not repeatable on a regular basis. We played terrible defense and didn't rebound for squat. Beating up the furd is always great but until this team plays D and rebounds, we aren't going anywhere and that's basic fundamental basketball. We should have won the game by 60 if we had played decent D.
The rebounding was poor in the beginning and could've been better overall, they still outrebounded Stanford 30-25.
It's gotten a little better due to Newell and Okafor who seem to know how to block out, but generally not only do we not block out, we seem to have the worst hands in D1 for defensive rebounding. Rip the ball into your hands. They also assume no opponent is around them and often the ball is jarred loose for an easy put back. This is not about talent. Let's clean this up.
MoragaBear
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KoreAmBear said:

MoragaBear said:

bearsandgiants said:

Watched the whole game. While the shooting was exciting it's not repeatable on a regular basis. We played terrible defense and didn't rebound for squat. Beating up the furd is always great but until this team plays D and rebounds, we aren't going anywhere and that's basic fundamental basketball. We should have won the game by 60 if we had played decent D.
The rebounding was poor in the beginning and could've been better overall, they still outrebounded Stanford 30-25.
It's gotten a little better due to Newell and Okafor who seem to know how to block out, but generally not only do we not block out, we seem to have the worst hands in D1 for defensive rebounding. Rip the ball into your hands. They also assume no opponent is around them and often the ball is jarred loose for an easy put back. This is not about talent. Let's clean this up.
Agreed plus too many attempted rebound tips and not nearly enough crashing the boards all season though again, it did get better later in the game.
oskidunker
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Wsu has a rim protector. They will play Lars one on one and smother the perimeter,
Go Bears!
bearister
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LessMilesMoreTedford said:

my biggest takeaway is Stanford sucks.


Cancel my subscription to the Resurrection
Send my credentials to the House of Detention
I got some friends inside
HoopDreams
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a strong rebounder is actually Brown

KoreAmBear said:

MoragaBear said:

bearsandgiants said:

Watched the whole game. While the shooting was exciting it's not repeatable on a regular basis. We played terrible defense and didn't rebound for squat. Beating up the furd is always great but until this team plays D and rebounds, we aren't going anywhere and that's basic fundamental basketball. We should have won the game by 60 if we had played decent D.
The rebounding was poor in the beginning and could've been better overall, they still outrebounded Stanford 30-25.
It's gotten a little better due to Newell and Okafor who seem to know how to block out, but generally not only do we not block out, we seem to have the worst hands in D1 for defensive rebounding. Rip the ball into your hands. They also assume no opponent is around them and often the ball is jarred loose for an easy put back. This is not about talent. Let's clean this up.
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