San Francisco Bay Area rivals who would love to add to each other’s misery will duel Saturday night when Cal visits Stanford in a Pacific-12 Conference contest.
The meeting will conclude the season series between the schools, with Cal (3-17, 2-7 Pac-12) having erupted for its best offensive output of the season in a 92-70 home romp over Stanford (8-12, 2-7) on Jan. 6.
Things are different three weeks later, with the Golden Bears having lost four in a row, including a pair at home last week when they were drubbed 87-58 by Oregon and 68-48 by Oregon State.
The revolving door that has been Cal’s roster this season saw leading scorer Devin Askew return for Saturday’s game against Oregon State, while the team went without two other dependable scorers, DeJuan Clayton and Sam Alajiki.
“This is really, really challenging,” Cal coach Mark Fox said. “We’ve got to figure out who’s going to be in the lineup so we can figure out how to play.”
Clayton had a team-best 26 points and Alajiki 19 in the win over Stanford.
As usual, the Cardinal got balanced scoring in that one, with Michael Jones (14), Spencer Jones (13), Maxime Raynaud (12) and Isa Silva (12) all going for double figures.
While Cal was struggling with the Oregon schools last week, the Cardinal was playing some of its best basketball at home, sweeping a pair with a 67-46 romp over the Beavers and a 71-64 thriller over the Ducks.
Stanford then made it a season-best three-game winning streak by handling Chicago State 72-65 at home in a nonconference game Wednesday. Spencer Jones had 21 points, Raynaud 17 and Harrison Ingram 15 against the Cougars.
Any motivation that might have been lacking against Chicago State won’t be an issue against the rival Golden Bears, Stanford coach Jerod Haase insisted.
“We understand it’s a big-time game, a rivalry game. We also have not forgotten what happened the first time,” Haase said this week. “Desire has not been lacking with our team, and desire is not going to be lacking in this game. But execution needs to be extremely high.”
–Field Level Media