In a battle of the bay, Stanford men’s basketball (13-13, 5-9 Pac-12) came out on top against rivals No. 31 Cal (18-8, 9-5) on Friday night, 73-68. After returning home from a disappointing road series in which the team lost close games to both No. 7 Arizona and Arizona State, the Cardinal showed that they do have the offensive weapons to compete against top Pac-12 talent.
Junior Dorian Pickens was on the top of Stanford’s score sheet for the night, topping out at 23 points on his 36 minutes of play. Junior Reid Travis added another 19 points and nine rebounds as Stanford finally showed that the team could score points when it counted most.
Cal suffered from lackluster offensive production from its key starters, with likely NBA draft pick sophomore Ivan Rabb coming out cold. In the first half, he only scored four points on three shots with an assist and two rebounds. Senior Jabari Bird fared better, keeping Cal competitive after the Stanford-leading 38-34 first half by going 4-7 from the floor.
Stanford continued their strong offensive play in the second half, with the Cardinal going on a 13-0 run that lasted over five minutes. The Cardinal did not look like the same team whose offense has consistently struggled this season and is currently ninth in the Pac-12 in point production.
After the Bears’ big man Kam Rooks drew his fifth and final foul with 10 minutes left in the game, Stanford quickly took advantage. A three from Pickens gave the team their biggest lead of the night, 69-62, a point differential that would prove insurmountable for Cal.
This victory was only the second for the Cardinal in the past seven games, and brought their season average back to .500. However, Cal will certainly view this game as a missed opportunity, as the Bears failed to complete their season sweep of the Cardinal and now could drop to tie for fourth with USC in Pac-12 rankings, depending on the outcome of USC’s game against No. 6 UCLA.
On Friday night, the Stanford coaches wore green ties as part of the Coaching for Literacy program, with many universities around the country also participating.
Next up for the team is another home match up, this time against Oregon State, on Wednesday at 8 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU.
Contact Amanda McLean at ammclean ‘at’ stanford.edu.