Arizona holds off challenge from Cardinal 84-80

By Daniel Dullum
Thursday, March 10, 2022

The Arizona Wildcats Christian Koloko is jubilant over the success of the Wildcats in their win over the Stanford Cardinal at the T Mobile Center in Las Vegas on Thu Mar 10, 2022 at the Pac 12 Tournament (AP News photo)

Stanford gave top-seed Arizona all it could handle in Thursday’s quarterfinal round of the Pac-12 men’s basketball tournament in Las Vegas. The No. 2-ranked Wildcats held off an inspired Cardinal team to win 84-80.

Christian Koloko topped the U of A scoring with 24 points to go with nine rebounds and four assists, followed by Bennedict Mathurin with 20 points and seven rebounds, as the Wildcats (29-3) struggled with Stanford for the second time this season before prevailing, Azuolas Tubelis added seven rebounds and five assists, and point guard Kerr Kriisa had 10 points and five assists before leaving with an injury in the final minute.

The nine-seed Cardinal opened the tournament with a last-second win over Arizona State on Wednesday and opened Thursday’s game with a barrage of 3-pointers, going 11 for 20 behind the arc while shooting 54 percent against the league’s top defense.

Spencer Jones bagged a game-high 28 points – 13 in the first half – followed by Harrison Ingram with 16. Jones was 12 of 18 overall from the field, including 4 of 7 3-pointers. Ingram and Michael O’Connell (11 points) each had four assists.

Arizona led 49-37 at halftime and outscored the Cardinal 44-43 in the final 20 minutes. The Cardinal were 6 of 8 behind the arc in the first half and never allowed the Wildcats to build a big lead.

Down the stretch, Arizona took an 82-77 lead on a Koloko dunk, but the Cardinal (16-16) responded with a 3-pointer by Ingram, cutting Stanford’s deficit to 82-80 with 13 seconds remaining, The Cardinal fouled Pelle Larsson, who made a pair of free throws with 8.5 seconds to play, accounting for the final score.

The Wildcats will face Colorado in the semifinals, while Stanford awaits a possible postseason invite to a tournament other than the Big Dance.

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.

Cardinal close out regular season with 65-56 loss to ASU

The Arizona State Sun Devils jump for joy after nailing down a victory against the visiting Stanford Cardinal at Desert Financial Arena in Tempe on Sat Mar 5, 2022 (photo by Arizona State Sun Devils Athletics)

By Daniel Dullum
Saturday, March 5, 2022

For the second straight game, Stanford took a halftime lead but couldn’t sustain it, as the Cardinal fell to Arizona State 65-56 Saturday at Tempe, Ariz., in the Pac-12 men’s basketball regular season finale for both schools.

Senior Marreon Jackson netted 18 points in his final home game, as the Sun Devils (14-16 overall, 10-10 Pac-12) finished their conference schedule with four straight victories and seven wins in their final eight games.

Stanford closed out the Pac-12 slate with five consecutive losses, dropping seven of its last eight games.

Jackson was eight of 15 from the field, along with six assists, six steals and six rebounds. Jalen Graham was next for ASU with 16 points on five of six field goals, and DJ Horne added 12 points and four assists.

Spencer Jones and Brandon Angel each scored 14 points to lead the Cardinal. Jones connected on three of five behind the arc, and Angel made four three-pointers. Harrison Ingram grabbed nine of the Cardinal’s 36 rebounds to go with four assists and three steals.

Stanford (15-15 overall, 8-12 Pac-12) led 32-30 at the intermission. Alonzo Gaffney hit a jumper to tie the game to open the second half, and followed with a 3-pointer at 16:41, putting the Sun Devils up 35-32.

Jaiden Delaire responded with a 3-pointer for the Cardinal, but Graham converted a three-point play, Horne and Jackson hit baskets, and ASU had a 43-37 lead.

Brandon Angel sank a three–pointer with 6:13 to play, putting the Cardinal up 52-51, but the Sun Devils responded with a 10-0 run and didn’t look back.

Stanford and ASU will meet in the opening round of the Pac-12 tournament on Wednesday in Las Vegas.

Stanford Cardinal podcast with Daniel Dullum: Stanford good first half, lose second half to Arizona 81-69 in Tucson

Stanford forward Spencer Jones (14) drives on Arizona guard Pelle Larsson at the McKale Memorial Center in Tucson on Thu Mar 3, 2022 (AP News photo)

On the Stanford podcast with Daniel:

1 Despite a gallant effort, Stanford bounced back from a horrendous game against Cal and played at least one good half against Arizona.

2 What was working for the Cardinal in the first half, and where did it go south in the second half?

3 How are Stanford’s chances to pick up a win on Saturday against Arizona State to end the regular season on a positive note?

4 What do Stanford’s chances for postseason men’s basketball look like?

5 Meanwhile, Teri Vanderveer just received Pac-12 women’s basketball coach of the year for the 17th time, as the Cardinal women are primed for an extended tournament run.

Catch Daniel for the Stanford podcasts each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Pac-12 champion No. 2 Arizona defeats Stanford 81-69

Stanford guard Michael O’Connell (5) drives on Arizona guard Bennedict Mathurin at McKale Memorial Center in Tucson on Thu Mar 3, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Daniel Dullum
Thursday, March 3, 2022

Fresh off clinching the Pac-12 regular season title, No. 2 Arizona returned home to McKale Center in Tucson and held off inspired Stanford 81-69 in men’s basketball Thursday.

Bennedict Mathurin led the Wildcats with 24 points, followed by Christian Koloko with 21 points and 10 rebounds, as U of A (27-3 overall, 17-2 Pac-12) remained undefeated at home in its first season under Coach Tommy Lloyd. Kerr Kriisa added seven assists and Azuolas Tubelis chipped in with 11 points.

Arizona also clinched its first conference championship in four years.

After defeating No. 16 Southern California on Tuesday in Los Angeles, Arizona came out sluggish against the Cardinal (15-14 overall, 8-11 Pac-12), shooting poorly while Stanford built a nine-point lead in the first half, eventually whittled down to a 39-37 Cardinal lead at halftime. Stanford made more baskets in the first half (12) than they did in their entire loss to California.

But the Wildcats pulled away after the intermission, outscoring the Cardinal 44-30, as Stanford’s late-season tailspin continued with its sixth loss in seven games. Mathurin had a personal 8-0 run against the Cardinal to open the second half that put U of A up 67-58.

Arizona stayed close by making 16 points off 11 Cardinal turnovers. Things didn’t go much better for Stanford in the second half, making 3 of 9 from 3-point range while finishing the game with 17 turnovers.

Spencer Jones led the Cardinal with 22 points, followed by Michael O’Connell with 16 points – all scored in the first half. Maxime Raynaud added 10 points and seven rebounds, and Harrison Ingram led the Cardinal with nine boards.

Stanford made 15 of 28 in the first 20 minutes, including 7 of 10 behind the arc.\

Stanford finishes the regular season in Tempe on Saturday, visiting Arizona State.

Cal Bears basketball podcast with Michael Duca: Cal opens two game road trip at ASU tonight to close out regular season

The Cal Bears Grant Anticevich makes his way up the floor against the Stanford Cardinal on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at Haas Pavilion (photo by Cal Bears twitter)

Cal Bears basketball podcast with Miguel:

#1 Michael, the Cal Bears (12-17) kept the Stanford Cardinal (15-13) in check in their last game last Saturday holding the Cardinal to only 39 points which would you allude it to, the Cardinal shooting was just simply off or the Bears defense was all over Stanford?

#2  Winning after a lengthy streak of rough results didn’t deter the Golden Bears. Instead it strengthened them, according to coach Mark Fox.

#3 The ball was constantly going to Cal’s Jordan Shepherd who scored a team leading 28 points no other Cal player got into double figures.

#4 In the second half the Cardinal tried to make a valiant effort outscoring the Bears 27-18 but that comes off a first half where the Cardinal scored only 12 points.

#5 The action continues at ASU (12-16) tonight. The Sun Devils just got by the Utah Utes last Sat Feb 26th at Utah 63-61. The Sun Devils are on a roll they have won five of their last six games. How do you see Cal and ASU as they match up on tonight.

Join Michael for the Cal Bears podcasts Thursdays at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Cal Bears basketball podcast with Morris Phillips: How big was Cal’s win for morale over Stanford on Saturday?

The Cal Bears Joel Brown (1) gets up on the Stanford Cardinal Spencer Jones (left) at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley on Sat Feb 27, 2022 (photo by the Santa Cruz Sentinel)

On the Cal Bears podcast with Morris:

#1 Cal (12-17) got a Big Game win over the Stanford Cardinal (15-13) 53-39 in the lowest scoring game of the season for the Cardinal. Was it a matter of Cal’s defense was on or Stanford’s shooting was just off?

#2 Morris, it’s like you wrote in your game recap on Saturday it was a cold night outside in Berkeley and the game for Stanford was like they had to stay outside in their uniforms and warm ups on offense they just froze.

#3 Winning after a lengthy streak of rough results didn’t deter the Golden Bears. Instead it strengthened them, according to coach Mark Fox.

#4 Cal’s Jordan Shepherd led with 28 points no other player got into double figures for Cal but his 28 held up and then some.

#5 Up next the Cal Bears are at Arizona State (12-16) this Thu Mar 3, the Bears are coming off a win against the Cardinal could you see then keeping the momentum going at ASU.

Join Morris for the Cal Bears podcasts through the Pac 12 Tournament which starts Mar 9th at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Cal holds Cardinal to season-low point total, winning 53-39

Jordan Shepherd led the Cal Bears with 21 points against the Stanford Cardinal at Haas Pavilion Sat Feb 26, 2022 (image from Cal Bears Athletics)

By Daniel Dullum
Saturday, February 26, 2022

California earned a split on the season series between the Bay Area rivals, winning 53-39 over visiting Stanford Saturday in Pac-12 men’s basketball at Haas Pavilion

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Stanford (15-13 overall, 8-10 Pac-12) has lost three straight games, and six of its last eight. The 38 points was the Cardinal’s lowest point total of the season; Stanford scored 48 points in a Nov. 20 loss to Baylor and 43 in a Jan. 29 loss to UCLA.

Spencer Jones was the Cardinal’s top scorer with 10 points, followed by Jaiden Delaire with seven points and Harrison Ingram with six. Maxime Raynaud, Brandon Angel and Max Murrell each grabbed five of Stanford’s 34 rebounds, six fewer than Cal (12-17 overall, 5-13 Pac-12).

Jordan Shepard paced the Bears with 21 points, as Stanford held Cal to 18 points in the second half, and the Bears’ 53 points was their third-lowest total of the season.

Stanford didn’t help itself by missing 16 of its first 17 field goal attempts to start the game, eventually trailing by 23 at halftime. On the night, the Cardinal hit 12 of 51 field goal attempts for 24 percent, including 4 of 18 on 3-pointers.

The Cardinal were held to 14 points in the paint, five second-chance points and two points off turnovers.

The Cardinal wrap up their regular season on the road, visiting No. 2-ranked Arizona Thursday in Tucson, and heading to Tempe to face Arizona State next Saturday.

East Bay Cold Snap: Cal greets Stanford with a chilly reception in 53-39 win

By Morris Phillips

BERKELEY, CA–Cold? Yes, Stanford’s offense at Haas Pavilion on Saturday evening was quite chilly, almost as if the visitors from Palo Alto were stranded outside the building and forced to watch the sunset on a winter night wearing just their uniforms and warm-ups.

That description best mirrors the Cardinal’s evening as they were frozen in place during Cal’s 19-0 run, and limited to 12 points before halftime. Bolstered by a 23-point lead at the break, Cal cruised, winning 53-39 to extinguish their seven-game home losing streak, while gaining a measure of satisfaction against their biggest rival.

Winning after a lengthy streak of rough results didn’t deter the Golden Bears. Instead it strengthened them, according to coach Mark Fox.

“They really haven’t had their confidence shaken,” Fox said. “For the most part they’ve been resilient and regrouped.”

“We just performed at the level we know we’re capable of and moving forward if we can do that consistently we won’t have any problems,” Grant Anticevich said. “I don’t think we played out of character at all.”

The Bears’ 53 percent shooting in the first half carried them as did Jordan Shepherd, who put up 28 points on 11 for 16 shooting. In a game that ultimately will be remembered for missed shots from both teams, Cal’s first half and Shepherd’s bounce back performance were all it took. Shepherd suffered with his injured hand in Cal’s previous contests against Colorado and Utah, failing to score in double-digits both times. But a week without games, and rest, got the graduate transfer back on point.

“Offensively, I thought we got the shots we were looking for,” Fox said. “It’s a terrific win (with a) great environment, terrific fans and a super energy in the building. It was really good for our seniors to finish their home careers this way.”

No other Bears scored more than six points, but the team tallied 12 assists on 22 made baskets, proof that the ball was moving and the offense was executed. An eight minute scoreless drought in the second half didn’t short circuit Cal as their defensive effort maintained consistency. As a result Stanford never mounted a credible response on a night they shot 23.5 percent while losing for the fifth time in six games.

Logan Alters was honored with a starting lineup nod on Senior Night for Cal, and several familiar faces dotted the crowd of more than 8,000.

Jason Kidd, Jerome Randle, Sean Lampley, Theo Robertson and Markhuri Sanders-Frison were among the basketball alumni in attendance. Kidd was in town in advance of his NBA Mavericks playing the Warriors on Sunday, and Randle came to the Bay Area directly from war-consumed Ukraine where he plays professionally.

The Bears conclude their regular season in Arizona with the rematch with ASU up first in Tempe on Thursday at 5:00pm.

Cal Bears podcast with Michael Duca: Cal squares off against Stanford Saturday for last home game of season

Utah guard Gabe Madsen (55) drives to the basket against California guard Jordan Shepherd (31) at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley on Sat Feb 19, 2022. Cal concludes their regular home season against the Stanford Cardinal Sat Feb 26, 2022 at UC Berkeley (AP News photo)

On the Cal Bears podcast with Michael:

#1 Michael, the Cal Bears (11-17) struggled throughout much of their game against the Utah Utes (11-16) on Saturday but towards the end of the game Cal cut the Utes lead to two but the Utes were able to defend and hang on for the 60-58 win.

#2 The Utes didn’t have a field goal in six minutes but were still able to keep the lead right there did the Bears just fail to execute and take advantage?

#3 Cal got close twice coming within two points the first time was with 19 seconds left in the game and the Utes Lazar Stefanovic hit a pair of free throws before the Bears Jalen Celestine canned a three with five seconds remaining and Utah escaped.

#4 The Bears missed eight of their last 10 shots, and went more than four minutes without a field goal before Celestine’s three pointer in the final seconds. 

#5 The Stanford Cardinal (15-12) are next for the Bears they have lost five of their last seven games and lost their last game to the Colorado Buffaloes (18-9) 70-53. The Cardinal have been hurting on scoring Michael how do you see Stanford at Cal this Saturday night at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley?

Join Michael for the Cal Bears podcasts each Thursday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com