Men’s basketball still winless in Pac-12 play after loss against Cal

Jan. 7, 2023, 2:21 p.m.

The Stanford men’s basketball team (5-10, 0-5 Pac-12) dropped a road game across the Bay on Friday, losing to Cal (3-13, 2-3, Pac-12) in a 22-point rout. The 0-5 start in conference is the worst start during head coach Jerod Haase’s tenure on the Farm.  

The Cardinal were dealt a blow before the first whistle, as senior forward James Keefe was unable to play due to a lower leg injury. Additionally, Haase instituted lineup changes, starting senior forward Neal Begovich and sophomore center Maxime Raynaud instead of sophomore forward Harrison Ingram and junior forward Brandon Angel. 

Despite a perfect start on offense, making their first six shots, the Cardinal allowed Cal to linger around in the beginning of the first half thanks to a hot 3-point shooting start. The Golden Bears hit seven of their first eight 3-point attempts, and were able to get out to a one-to-two possession lead midway through the game. Guard Dejuan Clayton led the way for Cal, knocking down his first four 3-point attempts and tallying 14 points. For Stanford, sophomore center Maxime Raynaud had a bounce-back game, scoring on four consecutive possessions at the beginning of the first half while accumulating 10 points. 

Later on, the Golden Bears were able to push out their lead to three-to-four possessions thanks to a cold offensive spell from the Cardinal. At the end of the first half, Cal took a commanding 45-37 lead. 

As bad as the first half was for Stanford, the second half spelled much worse, and ultimately sealed their fate in this game. From the 18-minute mark, the Golden Bears were able to augment their lead due to a 15-5 run over the span of three minutes. The prolific 3-point shooting continued from the first half, as Cal shot 8-for-12 from beyond the arc in the second half. Every time Stanford began chipping into the lead, Cal would promptly respond with a 3-point shot or by getting to the free-throw line. After the 16:30 mark in the second half, the smallest deficit Stanford could achieve was 11. 

Dejuan Clayton resumed his first half play, putting up 12 points in the second half. Forward Kuany Kuany one-upped Clayton with 13 second-half points, displaying an all-around offensive arsenal. 

Despite efficient shooting performances from graduate student guard Michael Jones and senior forward Spencer Jones, the Cardinal were unable to get quality minutes from sophomore forward Harrison Ingram, who had just 6 points on eight shot attempts. 

The Golden Bears steadily built upon their lead throughout the second half, and were eventually able to come away with a resounding 22-point victory for their second conference win of the season. Clayton, guard Sam Alajiki and Kuany led Cal with 26 points, 19 points and 18 points, respectively. Shooting over 50% from the field and 65% from the 3-point line in both halves, Cal put together perhaps their most impressive offensive performance of the season. 

Up next, Stanford will travel up to Seattle to take on the Washington Huskies (9-7, 1-4 Pac-12) in a battle of bottom-dwelling Pac-12 foes. However, the Huskies may carry some momentum into the game, losing by just 3 points on the road against No. 5 Arizona (14-1, 3-1 Pac-12).

The game will tip-off at 8 p.m. PT on Thursday.

Kaushik Sampath is a desk editor for the sports section. He is a sophomore from Fayetteville, Arkansas, who's undecided on his 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' stanforddaily.com.

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