Cal fends off Stanford 64-59 in final game of regular season

Photo credit: @CalMBBall

By: Eric Epstein

PALO ALTO, Calif. — The University of California Golden Bears bested the Stanford Cardinal at Maples Pavillion Thursday night with a score of 64-59, spoiling Stanford’s Senior Night and last game of the regular season. With their loss, Stanford moved to 8-10 in Pac-12 play, leaving them in 10th place in the conference. Cal improves their Pac-12 record to 3-15, however, they still sit at the bottom of the conference standings.

The Bears dominated the first half, outscoring the Cardinal 37-24. Only a couple minutes into the game, Cal rattled off a 17-0 run over five minutes, extending their lead to 19 points only 10 minutes into the game. Stanford was able to slowly narrow their deficit to 10 points before Cal freshman guard Matt Bradley banked home a long 3-point basket at the half to give the Bears a 13-point lead going into the locker room.

In the first period, Cal shot with much higher efficiency from Stanford everywhere except for the foul line. The Bears made 6 out of their 10 3-point attempts, whereas the Cardinal were not able to connect on any of their 12 tries.

7-foot-3 freshman Connor Vanover provided the Cal offense with a red-hot shooting spree, scoring his 18 first-half points on 7-8 shooting, including connecting on all 4 of his three-point attempts.

The first half Stanford offense ran through sophomore forward KZ Okpala, who scored 13 points on 6-8 shooting. Stanford struggled mightily with ball security and playmaking, as they turned the ball over 8 times and only totaled 3 assists. With usual starting point guard Daejon Davis still sidelined with a foot injury, the bulk of the ballhandling was done by freshman guards Bryce Wills and Cormac Ryan.

Cal scored three straight buckets to open the second half, increasing their lead to a game-high 21 points. The two squads traded off bursts of scoring until Stanford was able to string together some quick baskets and defensive stops to decrease the lead to single digits with 4 minutes left in the game. After missing their first 21 3-point attempts, Stanford hit 3 straight 3-pointers down the stretch to work the Cal lead down to a measly 3 points. However, Vanover responded on the other end, drawing an and-one foul on a shot under the basket. After that, the Cardinal were forced to play the foul game and could not make up the 6 point deficit incurred in the final minute.

Vanover led the game in scoring with 24 points on 9-12 shooting and 5-6 from three. Bradley and junior guard Paris Austin also lit up the scoreboard with 14 and 15 points, respectively. Sophomore forward Justice Sueing also pitched in a notable effort of his own, scoring 9 points and 10 rebounds en route to a near double-double. Only 5 Cal players got on the scoreboard Thursday evening, and the Bears bench was only able to scrape 2 points together over the course of the whole game.

Okpala led the Cardinal in scoring yet again with 21 points on 9-14 shooting. Senior center Josh Sharma put on a good show for Senior Night with 11 points and 13 rebounds, however, his game was cut a couple of minutes short due to his fifth personal foul. Ryan, who missed his first 7 shots, caught on fire down the stretch for 8 points on 3 shots. He also recorded a very impressive no-look overhead pass from his back to a streaking Marcus Sheffield for a transition bucket late in the second half.

This marks the last game for the Cardinal before the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas next week. This game likely marks the last home game for graduating senior Josh Sharma as well as sophomore KZ Okpala, who is expected to enter the NBA Draft this summer.

Stanford brings a series-best eight-game winning streak to Cal for the Big Game on Saturday

Photo credit:

By: Ana Kieu

The Stanford Cardinal brings a series-best eight-game winning streak to Memorial Stadium in Berkeley on Saturday against the Cal Golden Bears in the 121st Big Game, but players know it’s going to be a fresh slate.

“It’s one of the more competitive games we play all season,” said Bobby Okereke. “They’re scrappy guys and have a good offense. Their running back (Patrick Laird) is really good, so we’re expecting a dogfight.”

Okereke and upperclassmen will explain the significance of Stanford’s oldest rivalry to young players, especially out-of-staters. But there is only one way to understand and appreciate the atmosphere, emotion and tradition that rewards the winner with year-long bragging rights and The Axe.

“You just have to experience it,” Okereke said.

Bryce Love has faced Cal three times and rushed for a combined 200 yards and two scores, including a 48-yard dash his freshman year. He ran for 101 yards and contributed a key 57-yard scoring run in last year’s 17-14 win.

Love knows the Bears will be wired Saturday as they’re tired of losing. They boast a stout defense, but he welcomes the challenge on the other side of the Bay Area.

“In my mind, playing in hostile environments…that’s fun,” Love said.

Love’s advice to teammates is simple.

“Just every away game, concentrate on what you can control,” said Love. “You know it’s going to be loud. Focus on the little things, like the offensive line calls and your reads. The rest will take care of itself.”

The Stakes
Stanford (6-4, 4-3 Pac-12) and Cal (6-4, 3-4) became bowl eligible with wins last Saturday, the Cardinal downing Oregon State (48-17) and the Bears surprising USC (15-14).

David Shaw competed against Cal as a player and is 7-0 as a head coach. Asked if winning the Big Game has more meaning than upsetting a No. 1-ranked team, he didn’t hesitate.

“This game for me is in a different category,” said Shaw. “There’s something about holding that Axe after the game.”

In a series that began in 1892, Stanford leads 63-46-11. The Cardinal scored 2,097 points while the Bears have tallied 1,926.

Quick Turnaround
Shaw isn’t surprised how quickly Cal head coach Justin Wilcox has improved the program. The Bears play with passion and for each other.

“They’re playing with a lot of confidence,” Shaw said. “They’re playing fast and physical and are on the attack all the time. We’ve got to start fast because I know they will.”

Back on the Field
J.J. Arcega-Whiteside returned to practice after missing the OSU game with an injury and could play. He leads the team in receiving and ranks fourth nationally in touchdown catches with 11.

“He’s got a chance if he makes it through the week,” Shaw said.

Trevor Speights is also back and should play, while junior offensive lineman Devery Hamilton is questionable.

Jet Toner and Joey Alfieri are expected to resume practicing but the latter will not play Saturday. Also sidelined are Casey Toohill, Nate Herbig and Drew Dalman.

Only Time Will Tell
Connor Wedington could see action depending on the progress of Arcega-Whiteside. Wedington has appeared in only three contests this season due to injury and will likely redshirt.

“He’s geared on getting that,” said Shaw. “We’ll use him wisely.”

Under the new NCAA rules, a player can compete in four games during the season without sacrificing a year of eligibility.

“That’s what I love about this new rule,” said Shaw. “It gives him flexibility.”

Different Combinations
The Cardinal has used six different offensive line combinations to start the game this season due to injuries. Only Walker Little has started all 10.

“It’s been different, but a lot of guys have responded,” Shaw said.

Last week, Nick Wilson, Dylan Powell and Henry Hattis stepped up.

“We’ll probably see some combination of those guys,” said Shaw.

According to Pro Football Focus, KJ Costello achieved the highest passer rating of Power-5 quarterbacks when kept clean last week (155.7). Arcega-Whiteside has the highest targeted passer rating when targeted of any Pac-12 wide receiver (140.6).

“K.J. is an awesome leader,” said Colby Parkinson, who caught four touchdown passes from him against Oregon State to match the school record. “It’s great to see him grow into that role.”

Last week, Costello became just the third Stanford quarterback to collect six 300-yard passing games in a season. John Elway did it six times in 1982 and Steve Stenstrom accomplished it eight times in 1993.

Tough Losses
Stanford’s four losses this season have come against No. 3 Notre Dame (10-0), No. 8 Washington State (9-1), No. 17 Washington (7-3) and No. 21 Utah (7-3). They are a combined 33-7.

Scouting Report
The Cal defense ranks No. 15 nationally and first in the Pac-12, allowing 4.7 yards per play. The Bears also rank No. 16 in the country in total defense (318.6) and No. 27 in points allowed per game (21.1).

The unit is led by Evan Weaver and Jordan Kunaszyk, who have combined for 222 tackles. Additionally, the secondary has pilfered 14 passes, returning three for touchdowns.

Offensively, Laird is the heart and soul. He has rushed for 771 yards, caught 43 passes for 269 yards, and has found the end zone eight times.

“He breaks tackles, he’s quick and explosive,” said Shaw. “A lot in this game comes down to willpower. This guy runs like his life is on the line every play and I appreciate it.”

In addition to beating to USC, Cal upset No. 10 Washington (12-10), and had No. 10 Washington State on the ropes in Pullman before the Cougars escaped with a 19-13 victory in the final 32 seconds, their lowest point total of the season.

Fun Fact
Stanford football players have conducted interviews in three foreign languages this season: Arcega-Whiteside (Spanish), Jesse Burkett (Japanese) and Osiris St. Brown (German).

Local Boy
Jack Richardson grew up in Salinas and both parents were standout student-athletes on The Farm. His mother, Teresa, was a two-time All-American in volleyball and is a member of the Stanford Athletics Hall of Fame. His father, Kevin, was a standout linebacker and recorded a team-high 113 tackles in 1987.

Kevin proposed to Teresa by hiring a plane to fly over Stanford Stadium during the 1991 Big Game.

The contest will be televised on Pac-12 Network … Stanford has permitted one touchdown in the third quarter and no more than seven points to any opponent … Parkinson’s 166 receiving yards against OSu were the most by a Cardinal tight end since Coby Fleener (173) in the 2011 Orange Bowl against Virginia Tech … Parkinson averages 17.8 yards per catch … Costello ranks in the top-20 nationally in seven statistical categories. He leads the conference in passing efficiency (156.9) and yards per attempt (8.65) and is second in passing yards (2,854) … Arcega-Whiteside’s 11 receiving touchdowns are tied with Ken Margerum for No. 2 in Stanford history, three behind all-time leader James Lofton … Shaw said sophomore quarterback Davis Mills could be available to play in a bowl game.

“He’s a mismatch everywhere.”
— Shaw on Parkinson

Safeway Open: Snedeker maintains lead while Mickelson comes apart

Photo credit: @NFL_Commentary

By Jeremy Harness

NAPA–In a tournament that has seen a lot of birdies and a lot of movement among the leaders, Brandt Snedeker has been the constant at Silverado this weekend.

After Saturday’s proceedings, Snedeker has the same three-stroke lead that he had a day prior, and he is now 18 holes away from winning for the first time in nearly two months, and it would be his first time winning the Safeway Open, the first PGA Tour event of the 2018-19 season.

Snedeker got things going early with what usually get him there: the putter. He had a long birdie putt at the third hole, and he shook off a bogey at the seventh with a birdie at the par-5 ninth.

He couldn’t get it up and down at the 13th and dropped a shot there, but he responded beautifully with three birdies in a row at holes 16 through 18 to get to 16-under par.

“It was a tough day,” Snedeker said. “The wind kicked up on the last 12, 13 holes and made it hard to hit it close and make birdies.

“I did a great job of staying patient knowing I had 16, 17, 18 for birdie holes left, and I was really proud of the way I stepped up there and hit some quality shots when I needed to. Tomorrow’s supposed to be tougher than today, so every shot is really important coming down the stretch.” One guy who has hung in there is Kevin Tway, who shot a 68 on Saturday, and he will play with Snedeker in the final pairing Sunday afternoon after finishing the third round at 13-under. He played a bogey-free round with back-to-back birdies on the front side – including a hole-out from a greenside bunker 41 feet away at the eighth – as well as two more birdies on the back nine.

“I kept the ball in play nicely, made a nice save on 14 when that was my only real bad shot,” Tway said. “I hung in there and played well.

“I got in contention a few times last year and didn’t do very good, so I’ll use tomorrow to learn from the bad and try to do better tomorrow.”

Phil Mickelson, however, didn’t hang in there as well as the other two. After being in the thick of things the first two days, he came unglued a bit on Saturday, starting with a double bogey at the par-5 eighth. He had two birdies on the back nine, but those were undone by two bogeys on the back side.

Cali Clasico: Earthquakes and Galaxy take 3-3 draw at Stanford Stadium

By Alexandra Evans and Marko Ukalovic

PALO ALTO—The San Jose Earthquakes faced the LA Galaxy at Stanford Stadium on Saturday with an attendance of 50,743 fans. The Quakes were searching to close out the month of June by coming back from seven consecutive winless games (including four straight losses and back-to-back draws), but ended up taking another draw 3-3.

Numbers first went up on the board for the Galaxy in the second minute. Zlatan Ibrahimovic kicked the ball from nearly 10 yards out to the left of the net, passing both forward Danny Hoesen and Quakes goaltender Andrew Tarbell before either could make any defensive plays.

The Quakes almost responded when Vako danced into the Galaxy’s defensive zone, but was immediately robbed of the ball. David Bingham made an excellent save off in the 11th minute, when the ball was nearly sent over his head into the net from the right side.

LA tried to double their lead in the 12th minute. Romain Alessandrini made what looked like a promising shot toward Tarbell, but went wide of net to the right.

Quakes captain Chris Wondolowski was given a free scoring chance after LA’s Bradford Jamieson was issued a yellow card for tripping Quakes midfielder Magnus Eriksson. Wondolowski’s first shot was saved by Bingham, then rebounded, after which he struck the ball into the dead center of the net, tying the game 1-1.

Tarbell made a save off of a shot from Alessandrini in the 19th minute, who shot from the righthand side of the net. Alessandrini would reattempt from the left side a minute later, succeeding, and giving the Galaxy their lead back.

Wondolowski glided his way toward the net in the 23rd minute, nearly stripping LA’s lead with what was only to be halted by Bingham.

Ibrahimovic took a penalty kick in the 25th minute after Quakes’ Francois Affolter was fouled. This opportunity resulted in Ibrahimovic’s second goal of the night, giving LA a two point lead (1-3).

In the 36th minute, Hoesen carried the ball from center field to the left end of LA’s defensive zone, from which he made his shot, though the ball lost momentum and was picked up by Bingham.

Vako added a point for the Quakes in the 39th minute when he struck the ball from 20 yards out of the center of the net between the legs of Jamieson and directly past Bingham. The Quakes trailed 3-2.

In the 42nd minute, Florian Jungwirth almost tied the game when he took a pass from 10 yards out and dribbled the ball into LA’s penalty zone before the ball was deflected out of bounds. Wondolowski, in the 45th minute, stood approximately 10 yards away from the net and attempted a shot, which was also deflected.

The second half commenced with Tarbell making a save off of Ibrahimovic in the 46th minute, stopping what would have been a hat trick for the 6’5″, 209-pound native of Malmo, Sweden.

“Unfortunately, two [of the six goals] were scored by the big super star,” Jungwirth said, jokingly, of Ibrahimovic, sparking laughter amongst the media.

“It is going to be hard if you concede after one minute,” Hoesen said of Ibrahimovic’s goal in the second minute. “But we know Zlatan is a quality player, and he can punish you in those situations.”

“There was a minute in the game, in the second half, where I kind of looked him up and down, and I thought, ‘This is a big dude!'” Nick Lima laughed with the media. “But it is good to play against players like that, you can see the way he is thinking.”

Although they picked things up in the second half, the Quakes struggled to score much-needed goals, despite being given multiple chances. Vako danced around the defensive zone for some time in the 57th minute before giving up the ball, which then went to Jungwirth. He passed the ball to Eriksson effortlessly, who then gave it to Lima whose shot was deflected. In the 59th minute, Eriksson struck the ball directly toward the corner of the net, which was caught beautifully Bingham. Hoesen kicked the ball wide of net (to the left) in the 65th minute.

A penalty on Michael Ciani gave the Quakes a penalty kick opportunity. Wondolowski did the honor, giving the Quakes a long-awaited point and tying the score 3-3.

Shea Salinas stepped in for Lima in the 80th minute, during which Tarbell also made a solid save off of Jamieson, who made a breakaway in the 86th minute. It looked promising that LA would take the lead again. At the last second, though, the ball was shot left, wide of net.

Clearly in a panic, the Quakes hustled into LA’s defensive zone, where Wondolowski’s shot with 15 seconds left in regulation bounced off the post.

The game ended in a 3-3 draw, the Quakes’ third consecutive.

“I was quite direct in my instructions at halftime, if I am frank,” said Quakes head coach Mikael Stahre, who then explained that he was satisfied with the way the team played in the second half (they did not allow the Galaxy any additional goals after the three they tallied in 25 minutes).

The Quakes will head north for their next match against the Portland Timbers at Providence Park. The game will stream live at 8:00 p.m. PST.

Game Notes:

  • Defender Harold Cummings and midfielder Anibal Godoy are absent due to international duty
  • Danny Hoesen has recorded six goals and assists throughout June (10 goals in the last eight matches), trailing first-place Victor Vasquez (who has seven) of Toronto FC
  • This was the first MLS match the Galaxy had competed in since June 9.

Earthquakes get shut out by Galaxy 1-0 in California Clasico

Photo credit: @LAGalaxy

By Pearl Allison Lo

CARSON, Calif. — It took a while, but Romain Alessandrini became the hero as Los Angeles won in the 82nd minute and defeated the San Jose Earthquakes in the first 2018 California Clasico at the StubHub Center Friday night.

Right after the Quakes made their first substitution in the 82nd minute, Alessandrini, who was tearful after, made the game’s first shot on target and converted.  It would be his third shot, a team-high. The last time Alessandrini scored was March 4th, the first game of the season.

It was close to being a different story though. In the 89th minute, the Quakes’ Danny Hoesen most likely would have had his fourth goal in a row, if goalie David Bingham did not deflect the ball, which hit the crossbar after. That was the only other shot on goal.

It was the Galaxy’s second 1-0 win in a row. The last time San Jose was blanked was May 5th. Both teams were struggling coming into the game in their last five.

Quakes’ coach Mikael Stahre evaluated the game, “…it was quite a good game. I think it was a game with lots of intensity and passion and I think we stood up in a good way and…we deserve at least a tie this evening.

Both teams were sporting the same uniform before the game, in support of the Major League Soccer’s Soccer For All initiative.

The first half saw a total of five shots. Attempts on both sides were matched by opposing players. The Quakes’ Vako had the most shots with three, but all were blocked.

Los Angeles’ Chris Pontius had a just wide header in the seventh minute.  

One of Vako’s shot hit Emrah Klimenta in the arm in the 21st minute, but there was no call.  

Shots picked up in the second half with a total of nine for the Galaxy and five for San Jose, but the defenses remained stalwart.

Alessandrini fell on his way to the net in the 51st minute.

Los Angeles’ Giovani dos Santos, who was questionable with an undisclosed injury, entered the game in the 75th minute.

When Vako was subbed out, he was the only player for San Jose with a shot, a total of five. At the end, Hoesen had two and Magnus Eriksson had one more.

Game Notes: Changes from last game for the Quakes were Shea Salinas, Vako and Chris Wondolowski put in the starting lineup.

The Galaxy were without a suspended Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Up Next: San Jose will look to right their ship when they face the Chicago Fire Saturday June 2 at 5:30 pm PST.

Whoa, Nellie! There’s a new cash cow in town and it’s not marijuana

Photo: @XTRA1360

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Supreme Court of the United States just blew the lid off the sports world on Monday when it ruled that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) is unconstitutional. The PASPA law was passed in 1992 and limited sporting betting to Nevada and on a limited basis to Montana, Deleware, and Oregon who already had some sports gambling set up through their lotteries.

“The Supremes” ruled 6-3 saying it is up to the states to decide if they want to allow their residents to be able to wager on sporting events. What they really said, is it is up to the states to decide if they want to put an end to the flood of cash that goes to Nevada and get a piece of the action back in the form of taxes. Legalized sports gambling at the state level could also “take a bite out of crime” hurting the illegal underground gambling operations.

The potential influx of tax income from sports betting could eclipse the present revenue received from the lottery, marijuana, Indian casinos, and horse racing combined. It really could be the tax windfall many states have trying to create for many years.

Could there be abuses?

Photo: NewYork_HR

Of course, there will be abuses. There will be people who gamble wager too much. There will be people who will go bankrupt and lose their homes. Families will fall apart. But, this is happening now except the money is flowing into the state of Nevada or into the hands of criminals.

The majority of people will participate with no problem and will enjoy the opportunity to test their skill. A few people will become “super rich”. Even if you do not like sports and will not bet on a game, you will benefit as newfound tax revenue that flows in the state.

Pro sports teams are not happy

Photo: @GJTIII

The major professional sports organizations are not happy. Why? Because there is about to be a “boatload of cash” enter the sports market and at the moment, they are completely out of the loop when it comes to getting their hands on what could potentially be billions of dollars.

Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association have proposed the concept of an integrity fee where one-percent of bets would go to the leagues to help combat point-shaving and other illegal gambling corruption. A little of that one-percent might also wind up in the team’s coffers.

According to an expert quoted in USA Today, that one-percent take would really represent a 20-percent income grab by the pro teams. The gaming expert stated most sports book operations keep only five-percent of the revenue they take in from gamblers.

The bottom line is that for now all of the teams – pro, college, and amateur – are going to find themselves out in the cold when it comes to sports gambling revenue. The only way they are going to be able to wedge their way in is to find a legal loophole or to get Congress to sponsor legislation mandating states to cut them in on the profits.

If you live in California, don’t get too excited

Photo: @TheGorny

The current estimate is that it will take up to five years for the Golden State to put a sports betting plan into place. Why will it take so long? Politics – plain and simple is what will delay the start of wagering in California. How should the money be used? What should the age limits be? Where should betting be allowed to take place? Should state income tax be collected on the winnings?

As you can see, it will be a real political donnybrook.

We will be sharpening our skills

Photo: @IdahWiringa

In the meantime, we at will be sharpening our skills in preparation for giving you the best information available to assist you in making your wagering decisions when you can finally lay your money down on your favorite team.

LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship: Ko gets re-acquainted with Lake Merced, shares lead

Photo credit: @USGA

By Jeremy Harness

DALY CITY, Calif. – Lydia Ko really likes this course, apparently.

Ko, who won the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic in each of the first two years that it was held here–2014 and 2015-prior to the event being relocated to Taiwan, got out to a strong start on Thursday, posting a four-under round of 68 to open the MEDIHEAL Championship at Lake Merced Golf Club.

That was good enough to get her into a five-way tie for the lead with players such as Jessica Korda and Caroline Hedwall.

“It’s a golf course where nobody goes super low, so you just have to (continue) to play solid and be patient out there, and sometimes par’s not a bad score,” said Ko, who celebrated her 21st birthday on Tuesday. “I think I hit a lot of greens, so I think I’m giving myself as many opportunities for birdies (as possible).

“I don’t think I feel a huge difference, but I know turning 21 is a huge thing in the U.S.,” she said. “So I’m legal, and I can do some fun things now.”

To be exact, Ko hit 16 of the possible 18 greens on Thursday–including each of the first nine that saw her go four-under on the front side–to go along with 11 of 14 fairways.

Jessica Korda also got out to a hot start to shoot four-under, which included an eagle at the par-5 fifth hole. Her only blemish came at the 10th, where she missed the green and ended up with a bogey.

She rebounded quickly, however, parring the ensuing four holes before birdieing two of the last three.

“I didn’t hit a ton of great shots, but I always left myself in a good position,” said Korda, whose younger sister, Nelly, played in one of the late groups along with So Yeon Ryu and Lexi Thompson. “It was really cold out there, so it was good that I stuck to my process.

“Obviously the score says one thing, and my hands say another.”

Speaking of Thompson, she birdied two of the last four holes to finish with a three-under round of 69, which has her tied for second with three others. To make her round more impressive, she was one of the last ones to play on Thursday, meaning that she had to endure the cold, consistent wind that this area is well known for late in the day.

“This course is very challenging, especially when the wind picks up,” said Thompson, who had two LPGA Tour wins last year. “It’s chilly out (there), so it’s a little longer of a course.

“Some of the par-5’s are reachable, so you try to take advantage of that, but pars were good, and just take the birdie chances as you can get them.”

Cal Bears Podcast with Michael Duca and Morris Phillips: Cal win last Saturday at Stanford could help Cal turn the page

Photo credit: @CalMBBall

By Michael Duca and Morris Phillips

BERKELEY–Cal did kind of a shocking thing being down 17 points behind Stanford last Saturday, down 11 points with 3:29 to play and they pulled it out in regulation and beat the Cardinal on Stanford’s home floor 74-71. 18 points in that last three minutes in 29 seconds. Cal scored 11 out of their last 13 possessions and to say a win like that is rare is an understatement.

When you think about the history of Cal at Maples Pavilion visiting Stanford and all of the struggles this might be one for the ages but definitely one that will last in the memory for quite awhile and for a team this young another building block for them to take and grow with. With 3:29 to play, FS1 broadcaster Steve Levin said Cal was trying to get it into single digits.

The Bears have a tough task coming as they face USC this Thursday and UCLA on Saturday.

Morris and Michael do the Cal podcasts each week at



Cal Bears Basketball Podcast with Morris Phillips: Bears hoping that come back game at Stanford can set the tone for USC Thursday

Photo credit: @CalMBBall

On the Cal Bears basketball podcast with Morris:

1 The Bears down to Stanford by 17 points in the first half and came back before the end of the half, figuring out Stanford’s defense.

2 Cal head coach Wyking Jones settled the team down and said they ended up dribbling the ball a whole lot better.

3 Stanford’s Maples Pavilion has always been a tough place for the Bears to battle and Saturday was almost no different, but Jones got the players believing in themselves and they turned it around.

4 After a 25 point loss to Portland State and previous loses to Central Arkansas, Cal State Northridge and Charminade they needed a win like this as a confidence booster.

5 Cal now hosts USC on Thursday and UCLA on Saturday, which are two great challenges on the home schedule for the Golden Bears.

Morris covers Cal basketball and does the weekly podcasts at

Cal Bears Podcast with Michael Duca and Morris Phillips: Cal trying to put bad taste of Portland State behind them; Stanford up next at the Farm

AP File: California guard Don Coleman (14) scored 19 points brings the ball up court during NCAA Men’s Basketball game between Portland State Vikings and California Golden Bears 81-106 lost at Hass Pavilion Berkeley Calif. Thurman James / CSM (Cal Sport Media via AP Images)

By Michael Duca and Morris Phillips

BERKELEY–The game that Portland State and Cal played on Thursday, December 21st at Haas Pavilion wound up as a Vikings’ 106-81 win. Before that game, the Bears who were on a two game streak were looking good and making some progress they were getting better each time out they pulled themselves to a .500 record at 6-6. Then they laid a whole clutch of eggs right before Christmas time.

It’s almost as if they went out and scheduled mid majors that were guaranteed to shock assessing the case of Portland State and Central Arkansas who the Bears hosted in Berkeley these are good teams. It’s just not pigeonholed into some kind of fodder for a power five conference team. So Cal got the brunt of that. The unfortunate thing is they got the brunt of it at home, in the first half, in the first 10 minutes of the game. The Bears simply struggled against this opponent.

Morris and Michael have much more on the Cal Bears Basketball Podcast and each week at