Deja vu – Cal upends Cardinal in opening round of Pac-12 tournament

The Cal Bears Matt Bradley guard (20) brings the ball down against Stanford forward James Keefe (22) during the Pac 12 Tournament at the T-Mobile Center in Las Vegas on Wed Mar 10, 2021 (photo from Cal MBB twitter)

By Daniel Dullum
Sports Radio Service
Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Stanford’s chances of extending its men’s basketball season took a serious blow on Wednesday, when the Cardinal fell to Bay Area rival California 76-58 in the opening round of the Pac-12 Conference postseason tournament in Las Vegas, Nev.

Cal (9-19 overall) led 35-29 at halftime while defeating the Cardinal in the opening round for the second year in a row. The Golden Bears held Stanford scoreless in the opening 4 minutes and 27 seconds, but the Cardinal got as close as 52-51 before a Ryan Betley 3-pointer at 5:56 of the second half sparked a 24-7 run to end the contest.

Stanford (!4-13), which suffered its fifth straight defeat, won the two regular season meetings between the schools in early February.

Matt Bradley led the Golden Bears with 19 points on 7 of 11 field goals, including 3 of 4 on 3-pointers. He also grabbed six rebounds and dished out six assists.

Betley was next for Cal with 13 points, and Andre Kelly added 12 points along with a team-leading nine rebounds and two blocked shots.

Jaiden Delaire led the Cardinal with 14 points. Oscar da Silva returned to the Stanford lineup and scored 12 points. Michael O’Connell also scored 12 points and had three assists. Lukas Kisunas grabbed seven rebounds, and da Silva and Spencer Jones each had five boards.

The Golden Bears led from start to finish and held Stanford to 37.7 percent field goal shooting (20 of 53) and 7 second-chance points. Cal shot 53.8 percent from the field (28 of 52), including 9 of 17 behind the arc, and held a 52-12 edge in scoring off the bench.

Prior to the game, da Silva was named as the Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year – the fifth player in Stanford history to receive the award.

Cal advances to the quarterfinals to face Colorado on Thursday. Stanford could possibly receive a berth in the National Invitation Tournament, which begins March 17 in Frisco and Denton, Texas.

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