Last-second shot by Keefe helps Cardinal stun ASU 71-70 in Pac-12 tourney

Stanford’s James Keefe (22) shoots a game-winning shot against the Arizona State Sun Devils at the Pac 12 Tournament in Las Vegas on Wed Mar 9, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Daniel Dullum
Wednesday, March 9, 2022

The good news for Stanford: It gets to continue in the Pac-12 men’s basketball tournament in Las Vegas. The bad news: The Cardinal get to play top seed and No. 2-ranked Arizona in the quarterfinal round.

Stanford stopped a late-season nosedive on Wednesday when James Keefe converted a short jumper as time expired, providing the Cardinal with a stunning 71-70 opening round win over favored Arizona State.

Going into the tournament, Stanford (16-15) had lost five straight and seven of its last eight games in the regular season. The Sun Devils (14-17) came into the tournament on a roll, having won four straight and seven of their last eight.

Keefe’s shot, which bounced around the rim and backboard as time elapsed, capped a 16-1 run that erased a 14-point Cardinal deficit. The Sun Devils were up 50-33 at 13:35 of the second half before a 13-3 Stanford run pulled them to within seven at 7:47.

Two more 3-pointers and a dunk by Kimani Lawrence put the Devils back up by 14 with three minutes remaining.

Spencer Jones sank a 3-pointer that pulled the Cardinal to within 70-69 with 37 seconds to play. Stanford chose not to foul, and after Harrison Ingram got the rebound off a miss by ASU’s Jalen Graham with nine seconds remaining, he headed up court but had the ball stripped in the lane.

Keefe picked up the loose ball about ten feet away from the basket and hoisted a desperation floater with a half-second showing on the clock that found the mark.

Jones made six 3s while scoring a career-high 26 points for Stanford. Keefe finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while making seven of eight from the field. Brandon Angel added 15 points.

ASU lost to Stanford for the first time this season despite tying the Pac-12 tournament record of 15 3-pointers, set by Stanford against Arizona State in an overtime game in 2013. The Sun Devils were also 11 of 33 on 2-point field goals and three of seven at the free throw line.

DJ Horne led the Sun Devils with 21 points, including five treys. Marreon Jackson had 14 points, including three 3s, and Jay Heath made four 3-pointers for 12 points.

As the tournament’s top seed, Arizona drew a first-round bye and will tip off with the Cardinal Thursday at 12 noon PST.

Cal Bears Football podcast with Michael Duca: Is bringing back the Pac 12 all about health and safety or the big bucks?

Cal Bears and Pac 12 Football will return on November 6th the first of a seven game schedule and will be headed up by Cal Bears head coach Justin Wilcox (USA Today file photo)

On the Cal Bears Football podcast with Michael Duca:

#1 There have been arguments already about the return of Pac 12 football namely that it is a mistake for them to return after it was originally postponed. The Cornavirus count has not gone down and could hit as many as 250,000 into January and February. Is the Pac 12 making the responsible decision in enacting a new season next month?

#2 The Pac 12 CEO and University of Oregon president Michael Schill said Thursday that health and safety is one of the Pac 12’s number one priority. Do you still see right through the real motive here that these universities are under immense pressure by the alumni donars, sponsors and parents of the student athletes because it’s really about the bottom line?

#3 The Mountain West also with the Pac 12 announced they will return in November and like the Pac 12 the MWC will tell you this is all about that the students and their academics come first, and as student athletes that their health and safety and following the safety protocols for the players and it’s team personnel and education come first before anything else.

#4 The Pac 12 has a seven game season starting Nov 6th and the MWC plans to have a eight game season starting October 24th. Did the conferences decide to play this fall because they feel it was better for more interest to than in the spring?

#5 Pac 12 men’s and women’s basketball is also set to return on Nov 25th which gives basketball just a month to prepare and get ready for regular season play other than the safety issues do you see this being like any other Pac 12 basketball season and being competitive and worry free?

Michael Duca does analysis on the Cal Bears at

Stanford squeezes past Long Beach State 93-86 photo: Stanford Cardinal Josh Sharma goes up for the throwdown against the Long Beach Matadors at Maples Pavilion on Saturday night

by Joey Friedman

PALO ALTO — Coming off a loss to an outstanding San Francisco Dons team on the road, Stanford (now 7-5 on the season) returned to Maples Pavilion for their final game of the 2018 calendar year and their final game of the non-conference schedule against Long Beach State (now 5-10 on the season). Star freshman guard Cormac Ryan remained out for the third consecutive game with an ankle injury, giving freshman Jaiden Delaire his first career start in the win. Stanford was successful in avenging last year’s road loss to the Long Beach State 49ers by the score of 93-86.

The game remained tight throughout the first half as copious turnover and fouls committed by both teams stunted any runs. The Cardinal and The Beach exchanged small advantages with Josh Sharma and KZ Okpala leading the team with 9 and 8 points in the half, respectively. Sharma also collected 10 rebounds in the first half, setting a career record. Stanford would take a 37-36 lead to halftime.

Long Beach State’s lead with the score 45-43 was their last of the night as Stanford caught fire and, on the back of a pair of Oscar da Silva 3-pointers, went on a 13-1 run, which put the score at 56-46 with less than 14 minutes left in the game.

The Beach didn’t go quietly, however. Stanford’s free throw shooting down the stretch allowed for the 49ers to crawl back to within two points with under a minute to go. Bryan Alberts, who finished with 22 points (6-13 from beyond the arc), nailed a pair of 3s while Temidayo Yussuf, who finished with 13 points (5-7 from the field), added 6 points of his own in the closing minutes to narrow the gap. Towards the end of the game, Stanford shot 5-19 from the charity stripe.

Down by 3 and with a chance to tie the game with under 10 seconds left in the game, Long Beach State head coach Don Monson tried to call a timeout to presumably set up a play for his team on offense but was unsuccessful at getting the referees’ attention. Subsequently, Long Beach State threw up a poor, air-balled shot on their final possession. Monson was understandably irate with the referees which drew a pair of technical fouls and an ejection from the court. Stanford padded their lead in the closing seconds with the fouls shots.

Josh Sharma finished the game for the Cardinal with his first career double-double. He set career-highs in both points and rebounds, blowing his previous career highs out of the water. He finished with 23 points and 18 rebounds.

Daejon Davis, who had 17 points and 5 assists for the Cardinal, left the game with an apparent ankle injury with about seven minutes left in the game. Head coach Jerod Hasse said he does not know the extent of the injury.

KZ Okpala and Jaiden Delaire each had 20 points and 10 points, respectively, in the win.

What’s next?
Stanford will open Pac-12 Conference play with the LA schools as the Card head south for games at UCLA on January 3rd and at USC on January 6th.

Long Beach State opens Big West Conference play at home against UC Davis after they face Bethesda at home on January 5th.

Cal Bears basketball podcast with Michael Duca and Morris Phillips: McNeil and Kelly lead the way in Cal’s 88-80 win over SJSU photo: The Cal Bears Darius McNiel (1) led Cal in scoring with 22 points against the San Jose State Spartans at Haas Pavilion Friday night in Berkeley

On the Cal Bears basketball podcast with Michael and Morris:

In a Christmas-break clash between two local rebuilding programs, the California Golden Bears and San Jose State Spartans met at Haas Pavilion Friday evening in front of a small but enthusiastic crowd. Cal prevailed, 88-80. Darius McNeil (season-high 22 points) and Andre Kelly (21 points and 10 rebounds, both career highs) led Cal, while Oumar Barry had a career-high 18 points, one of four Spartans in double figures.

Michael and Morris do the Cal Bears podcasts each week at

Cardinal survive wild finish to topple Sun Devils 84-83 in season finale

Photo credit:

By Daniel Dullum
Sports Radio Service
Saturday, March 3, 2018

TEMPE, Ariz. – Playing in the Pac-12’s version of a home-away-from-home game, Phoenix native Dorian Pickens torched the Arizona State Sun Devils (20-10, 8-10 Pac-12) with 20 second-half points as the Stanford Cardinal (17-14, 11-7 Pac-12) hung on for a wild 84-83 win at Wells Fargo Arena on Saturday afternoon.

“It was one of those things where (the emotions of coming back home) doesn’t really hit you until after the game,” said Pickens, a former Pinnacle High School graduate. “In the pregame, I’m just thinking about my teammates and trying to get the win. We were able to do that and my teammates helped send me out the right way.”

“It felt great to be able to come back home and come out of it with a victory. I had a lot of people here, maybe 20, 25, a lot of friends and family, and all of the above!”

On his offensive exploits in the second half, Pickens said, “I just wanted to be more aggressive, around the perimeter, especially.”

“He’s just a big-time player,” Cardinal Coach Jerod Haase said of Pickens. “It’s not really a surprise, but a great feeling to see him do that, especially at home in front of family and friends.”

“To win on the road against a team like (ASU) meant a lot.”

Reid Travis scored 24 points (8-of-14 field goals) and grabbed 14 of Stanford’s 45 rebounds. Kezie Okpala added 18 points and 10 boards for the Cardinal, who hit 51 percent (27-of-53) from the field.

Going into Saturday’s regular season finale, Travis was averaging 22.3 points and 10.0 rebounds in his last four games.

Travis described the final five minutes as “hectic. I wish we would have taken care of the ball a little bit more, but we got stops when we needed to, so I couldn’t be happier with the way we finished out the game.”

The victory gave Stanford a shot at finishing in the top four of the Pac-12 standings and a first-round bye in the conference’s upcoming postseason tournament in Las Vegas.

“In the non-conference, we battled and stuck together, which was really cool,” Haase said. “After the loss at home to Cal, our team has done some nice things. I think there’s still a long way to go with our quality of play, but the mental side, the competitiveness, is really cool to see as a coach.”

“Regardless of where we wind up, we’re going into (the Pac-12 tournament) excited.”

The Sun Devils, who struggled in conference play after a blazing start, look for redemption in the Pac-12 tournament. Tra Holder led ASU’s balanced attack with 19 points, followed by Shannon Evans II with 17 and 14 points each by Kodi Justice and Remy Martin.

Holder, Evans and Justice each hit three 3-pointers as the Devils were 10-of-27 behind the arc.

“This game is who we are,” ASU Coach Bobby Hurley said. “We have an amazing will to win, and character. The make the plays we made and claw our way back, we gave ourselves a chance to win.”

“I love my chances with the group I have against whoever we play in the postseason in Vegas and in the NCAA tournament.”

The Cardinal led by 19 points less than four minutes into the second half after opening the half with a 15-1 run after leading 40-35 at the break. But with basketball being a game of runs, Arizona State battled back with a 16-4 run, capped by Kimani Lawrence’s layup at 12:45, pulling the Devils to within 59-54.

“In 20 or 18 minutes against a team like this, there was never a comfort level at all,” Haase said. “Our guys stayed steadfast, continued to score on the offensive end, and we got enough stops on defense.”

Hurley said, “We got behind and always fought to get back in it. I thought the difference in the game could be as simple as the last four minutes of the first half, and we had empty possessions where we didn’t make shots that we usually make.”

“To start the second half, we didn’t have enough energy and (Stanford) was able to generate the lead that they did.”

Over the next three minutes, the Cardinal pushed their lead back to 11 on a Pickens 3-pointer, but ASU battled back again. Kodi Justice drained a 3 with 3:05 to play as the Sun Devils used a 5-minute, 16-7 run to cut their deficit to 79-77.

Another 3-pointer by Justice with 1:13 remaining tied the game at 82-82, but Arizona State could never surge ahead while both teams struggled at the free throw line down the stretch.

Daejon Davis, playing with four fouls, hit a jumper at :42 to break the deadlock, and on the ensuing possession, Justice missed a pair of free throws with :20 left. Two seconds later, Pickens missed two free throws, and after Josh Sharma missed a layup, Justice sank 1-of-2 foul shots to cut Stanford’s lead to 84-83 with 5 seconds remaining.

“Daejon has done so many great things throughout the year and he made a key basket late again,” Haase said. “For a freshman, he has a level of poise and calmness about him that, I think, spreads to the rest of the team.”

After Travis turned the ball over on an inbound play, ASU had one final possession, but Martin missed a short jumper as time expired.

“We made some mistakes, but they made some too,” Haase said. “There were some tough shots, some tough 3s. I thought we played with a great deal of poise and I thought this game would have a lot of ebbs and flows. And it did.”

The Pac-12 Tournament starts Wednesday in Las Vegas.

Cal Bears Podcast with Morris Phillips: Cal most likely will finish up in the Pac 12 cellar and headed to an all-time season loss record

Photo credit: @CalMBB

On the Cal Bears Podcast with Morris:

BERKELEY–It’s very unlikely that the Cal Bears will avoid 12th place this season they have not finished last in the Pac 12, Pac 10, Pac 8 since 1980. They’re not going to avoid those couple of loses at home this week where they dropped games to Washington and Washington State. They head to Arizona State on Thursday and Arizona on Saturday. Wazoo has a one game lead over Cal for 12th place and they would have to lose twice to back into last if there’s a tie Cal would be saddled with that 12th seed in the conference tournaments.

These are very unusual times for Cal the next loss is the 22nd loss they’ve never lost 22 ball games in a season in 111 years in Berkeley of playing basketball but that looks absolutely assured this year unless they become hot and win out the national championship which would be quite a story within itself but very unlikely. Things are in flux in the Pac 12 Arizona, Utah, and USC are all caught up in this FBI college basketball scandal to varying degrees and obviously we’ve heard a lot about Arizona and head coach Sean Miller who offered freshman Deandre Ayton $100,000 to sign on with AZ. Miller in a FBI wiretap was reportedly recorded offering Ayton the money it will be interesting to see how much longer Miller will remain at Arizona who Cal plays this Saturday at the McHale Center.

Morris Phillips does the Cal Bears Basketball Podcasts each Monday at



Stanford Cardinal men’s basketball takes down WSU 86-84; Davis’ free throws break tie with 10 seconds remaining

Photo credit: @StanfordMBB

By Alexandra Evans

PALO ALTO–The Stanford Cardinal Men’s Basketball team (15-13) received a visit from the Washington State Cougars (11-16) at Maples Pavilion on Saturday, which was also Senior Day for the Cardinal.

Cougars’ Drick Bernstine made the first basket of the game, the start of the team’s lead over the Cardinal. It was not until the 7:35 mark that the Cardinal caught the lead.

Unlike Thursday’s match against the Washington Huskies, however, the Cardinal’s lead never made it to the double digits. The highest score by which they exceeded the Cougars was seven, as they kept managing to inch their way close to a tie, until the end of the period when Michael Humphrey, one of the seniors who was honored before the match (along with Dorian Pickens), made a buzzer-beating three-pointer for the Cardinal. The score was 49-40 at halftime

Freshman KZ Okpala, who made the first basket for his team, had the most points for the Cardinal after the opening period with 11. Bernstine exceeded the Cougars with 12 points.

When the second period began, Malachi Flynn made a three-pointer for the Cougars, followed by a layup from Kwinton Hinson. Shortly after, Hinson was fouled and Okpala made both free throws, making the score 51-45. Humphrey then got a layup directly after, and then made a dunk (assisted by Daejon Davis) to give the Cardinal their first double digit lead of the game less than four minutes in. Reid Travis brought the Cardinal’s lead to 12 with a layup at the five-minute mark.

The Cardinal managed to keep their lead in the double digits after Travis blocked a shot from Milan Acquaah, and again Oscar da Silva made a three-pointer at the eight-minute mark. Dorian Pickens then made two free throws to give the Cardinal a 14-point lead.

The Cougars cut their trail to single digits after Robert Franks got a three-pointer. The Cardinal’s lead remained in the single digits (even dropping to a two-point difference with a minute remaining), and then the score was tied 84-84 after Franks got on a breakaway and dunked for the Cougars with 30 seconds left in the game.

Two free throws from Davis put the Cardinal ahead by two points with 10 seconds on the clock, and they took home an 86-84 win.

Okpala and Travis finished the game with 20 points to lead the Cardinal. Franks led the Cougars with 19 points.

The Stanford Cardinal will head to the desert on Thursday, March 1 to take on the Arizona Wildcats.

Slow start, turnovers lead to USC rout of Cal in Pac-12 home opener 80-62 photo: Cal Bears head coach Wyking Jones during recent press conference

By Morris Phillips

BERKELEY–The pained look on Coach Wyking Jones’ face said it all. The question regarding repeated slow starts for Jones’ California Golden Bears, especially at Haas Pavilion, was fair given that Cal scored just eight points in the first 10 minutes of Thursday’s disappointing 80-62 loss to USC.

And Jones’ response? As honest and revealing as any Division I basketball coach ever wants to be or has to be when admitting his team was outclassed.

“It’s frustrating, but our guys aren’t trying to do that,” Jones said. “They are trying to do the right thing. They are young, it’s a process, and we have to just focus on the light at the end of the tunnel. These guys who are freshman are going to be sophomores next year, and then juniors and then seniors, and really good. You have to focus on what the light at the end of the tunnel is as opposed to what’s going on right now.”

What’s going on for Cal right now is a youth-laden club without a forceful, ball handling leader is taking its lumps.  USC, a pre-season Top 25 pick that’s dealing with a recruiting scandal and its own shortcomings, may have been the last opponent the Bears wanted to see on the occasion of their Pac-12 home opener. Those lumps Cal’s taking were hand delivered by the Trojans on Thursday.

USC’s zone look with arms and hands everywhere befuddled the Bears to the tune 22 turnovers juxtaposed against just 13 assists on 23 made baskets.  Of those 23 baskets, only eight came in the first half when Cal fell behind by 26 points (38-12 with 1:54 remaining).  The deficit grew to 30 points briefly in the second half as Cal’s issues offensively morphed into defensive indifference.  While the final score was more palatable, this marked the third time this season Cal has lost by 18 or more points at home this season.

If the light at the end of the tunnel that Coach Jones spoke of was to be interpreted literally, it would have been one lit candle at the western most juncture of BART’s Transbay Tube on Thursday.

“We have another game on Saturday against UCLA so we have to move past this and regather tomorrow morning, and prepare for UCLA,” said freshman Justice Sueing, who led the Bears with 15 points.

In fairness to the Bears, the Trojans are the last team a struggling outfit wants to see. Just ask USC’s most recent opponent Washington State.  With the Cougars methodically trying to regain their footing against the Trojans on New Years’ Eve after a first half that was as poor as Cal’s, WSU cut USC’s lead to just eight points. But on the next six possessions, Washington State committed five turnovers and saw their deficit balloon to 18 points in less than the three minutes that elapsed on the game clock.

Against Cal, USC’s zone caused the Bears to be extremely tentative to the point that guards Don Coleman and Darius McNeill became non-factors in the first 25 minutes of the game.  Cal’s normally high scoring guards combined to miss 13 of their 16 shots while committing six turnovers.  While McNeill found a way to extend his impressive streak of hitting at least one three-pointer in 14 of his 15 games as a collegian, his penetration into the paint was almost non-existent.

Marcus Lee had an impressive start offensively with a follow dunk and a couple of other buckets from point blank range, but five turnovers and foul trouble kept the Kentucky transfer from making much of a difference as the game progressed.

The Trojans were led by Nick Rakocevic with 19 points. Bennie Boatwright added 15 points, and Jordan Usher had 14 off the bench for USC.

Chimezie Metu was suspended for the first 20 minutes for his actions against Washington State in which cameras caught the 6’10” junior jabbing an opponent in the groin. Metu played 11 minutes in the second half, in which his epic dunk over Lee immediately triggered a SportsCenter alert all the way across the country at ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut.

The Bears return to the hardwood on Saturday when UCLA visits Haas Pavilion at 3:30pm.

Stanford Cardinal defeated 77-74 by archival Cal Bears in Pac-12 opener

Photo: @StanfordMBB

By Alexandra Evans

PALO ALTO—The Stanford Cardinal Men’s Basketball team faced their first Pac-12 opponent of the season and cross-Bay Area rivals, the California Golden Bears, at Maples Pavillion two days before the new year.

Don Coleman, Marcus Lee, Justice Sueing, Nick Hamilton, and Darius McNeill started for the visiting Golden Bears. Kezie Okpala, Daejon Davis, Reid Travis, Michael Humphrey, and Dorian Pickens (who was out with an injury earlier this season) started for the Cardinal.

Cal’s Marcus Lee made the first basket of the game 17 seconds in, and Stanford’s Michael Humphrey made the second basket 13 seconds later. Cal made another two baskets over the course of 24 seconds and exceeded Stanford by four points at the 1:25 mark, until Reid Travis got a layup 15 seconds later at the 1:40 mark and Dorian Pickens made a three-pointer at 2:16, commencing Stanford’s lead over Cal, which would gradually increase throughout the first half.

Stanford’s Michael Humphrey more than doubled the lead just over 4 minutes in (13-6), and Stanford upped their lead to 10 points at the halfway point of the first 20 minutes. The score more than doubled again at the 12-minute mark (25-12) when Kezie Okpala made a jumper, assisted by Robert Cartwright.

The energy on the court and in the stands amped up significantly in the remaining five minutes of the first half, during which Stanford did not let their lead drop below 11 points. Humphrey made a dunk at 18:06 which put the Cardinal at a 14-point lead over the Bears, followed by a three-pointer from Dorian Pickens, bringing the lead to 17 points and then down to 15 after Cal’s Justice Sueing made two free throws following a foul on Oscar da Silva. Coleman made a three-pointer for the Bears with 30 seconds left in the half, and the Cardinal exceeded the Bears 37-24 at halftime.

Cal would slowly catch up to Stanford throughout the second half, and eventually exceed them. Coleman made the first basket, cutting Stanford’s lead over Cal to 11 points, and then by 10 points at the 3:18 mark when Lee got a jumper. Humphrey scored for Stanford, then Sueing for Cal, and the Cardinal’s lead was once again a point away from the single digits. Every time Stanford’s lead was cut to 10 points, they would score again to keep their lead above it through the first 10 minutes of the second half. Lee dunked for Cal, and less than a minute later, Josh Sharma made a jumper followed by a layup from Travis, giving Stanford a 15-point lead (55-40) at 6:43. The score was 60-45 just after the 10-minute mark, courtesy of Humphrey’s layup. 20 seconds later, McNeill got a 3-pointer for Cal. Stanford attained a 17 point lead after a 3-pointer from Davis with 9:28 remaining in the half.

Stanford’s lead was cut to single-digits when Cal’s Kingsley Okoroh got a layup with 6:12 left; they only led Cal by nine points. Coleman got a layup almost a minute after Okoroh, bringing the score to 66-59. Humphrey dunked for the Cardinal, inching the way back to a double-digit lead. He made a jumper one minute after his dunk and brought Stanford’s lead to 11 points once again. However, McNeill made a three-pointer for Cal directly after, followed by two layups and a free-throw from Sueing; Cal trailed by only three points. Travis quickly retaliated for Stanford with a layup and a free throw, bringing their lead up to six points. With 1:17 left in the game, Grant Anticevich made a three-pointer for Cal, making the score 73-72, giving Cardinal fans a “sudden death” feeling. Sueing got a layup and a free throw, and the Bears led the Cardinal for the first time since the beginning of the match (73-75). Travis was given two free throw opportunities with 20 seconds left in the match, only one of which he made. Davis was then fouled for Stanford, and Coleman, with two free-throw opportunities, made both for Cal with 17 seconds remaining. Travis had a chance at a three-pointer in the final seconds, but could not make it past Cal’s defense.

The Bears took home a 77-74 win.

“You go into every game confident that you’re going to win,” Humphrey said after being asked about the expectations of facing an identically ranked team. “We were all fired up to play [a rivalry game]. We wanted to start off Pac-12 play the right way, but we didn’t do that.”

Stanford struggled to make a majority of their free throws, which could have been the “make or break” of the overall score.

“I’ve probably worked more with free throws and shot more with [Stanford] than any other team I’ve ever had,” said Coach Jerod Haase. “To miss 16 free throws is going to be a problem. Ideally, you don’t get into that situation if the lead [in points] is a little bit bigger.”

Haase continued, “The experience and the cohesion of playing together is still growing, as is the execution of everything we are doing. But at the end of the day, you find ways to get stops at the end of a game… this game is going to sting, it’s going to hurt, but I feel as though we are building a foundation of something special.”

Both Stanford and Cal were 6-7 going into the match; one could argue that the outcome was going to be unpredictable. Stanford’s leader in points, Travis, averages 21.4 points per game (almost double that of his runner-up, Michael Humphrey, who has an average of 11.6 points per game). Cal’s point leader, Coleman, averages 20.5 points per game.

The Stanford Men’s Basketball team will commence the new year with a home match against the UCLA Bruins on January 4, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.

Cal Bears fall to Portland State Vikings 106-81 before Christmas

Photo: @CalMBBall

By Alexandra Evans

BERKELEY—The California Golden Bears (6-6) faced their last out-of-conference opponent, the Portland State Vikings (9-3), who defeated them 106-81 at Haas Pavilion on Thursday evening. 

The first half started off slow for the Golden Bears effective immediately. Within the first two minutes, the team was down by nine points. At the halfway point, they were down 13. With six minutes left, McNeill, Deschon Winston, and Marcus Lee brought the Bears’ score to 24. At that point, PSU had 39 points, but Cal was no longer trailing by more than half their score. That did not last long, as PSU brought their lead up to double Cal’s score (48-24) with 3:40 remaining. At the end of the first 20 minutes, PSU led Cal 56-37. There were few moments where Cal trailed by fewer than 20 points, and no Bears players made any three-pointers in the first half.

Cal was evidently determined to pick things up as the second half commenced, but PSU was just unstoppable. Six minutes in, the Vikings brought their score up by 16 points, compared to the Bears’ eight-point increase, for a score of 72-45. PSU held their 20+ point lead over Cal through the entire second half, even knocking on a 30-point lead here and there. With three and a half minutes left, Bryce Canda made a three-pointer to bring PSU’s score to an even 100, while Cal still trailed with 74 points. This was the first time in nearly seven years (since February 10, 2011 against the University of Washington) that the Bears allowed 100 points in a single game.

Don Coleman led the Bears in points tonight with 19, the seventh time he has exceeded the team this season, and the 12th time in 13 games, he has hit double digits in points. Winston tallied 10 points, a career-peak, and Nick Hamilton made five rebounds, which was a career-peak for him.

Next, the Cal Bears will face their conference rival, the Stanford Cardinal, in Palo Alto on Saturday, December 30. Stay tuned for coverage from me that night!