Offensive woes plague men’s basketball against Cal

Feb. 27, 2022, 10:31 a.m.

On Saturday evening in Berkeley, Calif., the California Golden Bears (12-17, 5-13 Pac-12) soundly defeated Stanford men’s basketball (15-13, 8-10 Pac-12) 53-39.

In the first half, Cal got off to a hot start while the Cardinal went freezing cold from the field. The score by the end of the half was 35-12 in favor of the Golden Bears. Cal senior guard Jordan Shepherd dominated the first half, scoring seven more points than the entire Cardinal team. Shepherd finished the game with 28 points, scoring over half of the team’s points with no other Cal player scoring in double digits this match. The Golden Bears shot over 53% in the first half compared to Stanford’s pedestrian 15%. 

Entering the second half, the breeze of the Bay Area got to both teams as both went cold from the field. By the end of the contest, Cal and Stanford finished the game shooting 43% and 22%, respectively.

Junior forward Spencer Jones led the way for Stanford, scoring 10 points in the game. Senior forward Jaden Delaire and freshman forward Harrison Ingram followed with seven and six points, respectively. Stanford’s paltry 39 points was the lowest-scoring total the team has had this season and ranks as one of the lowest point totals a team has had in an NCAA game within the past ten years.

The Cardinal continued a pattern of poor offensive play, as they scored just 56 and 53 points against Utah and Colorado, respectively, last week. They had just five assists in this game, suggesting they must do a better job of passing the ball and moving off-ball in their motion offense. 

After a promising start to the beginning of the conference slate, including sweeping No. 16 USC, Stanford has begun to falter in the home stretch of the regular season. The Cardinal have lost 3 straight games, including against two Quadrant 3 teams that rank at the bottom of the conference. 

These losses have dropped Stanford to 8th place in the Pac-12 conference. A double-digit loss to Cal, a team with a NET ranking of 139, will negatively impact Stanford’s postseason positioning. The Cardinal seem to be thinly holding on to an NIT bid. Their only shot of reaching the NCAA tournament will be winning the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas. 

On Thursday, the Cardinal will travel to Tucson, Ariz., to take on the No. 2 Arizona Wildcats (25-3, 15-2 Pac-12), who beat the Cardinal by 28 points in their first matchup. Tipoff for the game is scheduled at 6 p.m. PT at the McKale Memorial Center.

Following that game, the Cardinal will stop in Tempe, Ariz., to take on the Arizona State Sun Devils (12-16, 8-10 Pac-12) in the final game of the regular season. Tip-off for that game is scheduled for Saturday, March 5, at 12 p.m. PT at Desert Financial Arena.

Kaushik Sampath is the sports managing editor. He is a junior from Fayetteville, Arkansas and a history major. You can catch him watching and ranting about his beloved Arkansas Razorbacks or hanging out with friends on campus. Contact him at sports 'at'

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