Cal trounces Stanford on rivalry night, 74-55



It was a rivalry game Saturday Night at Haas Pavilion between the Cal Bears and the Stanford Cardinal. Two teams ranked in the middle of the Pac-10, neither with a realistic shot at the NCAA tournament, they played for the chance to go to the NIT and to settle a personal matter.Keep in mind Stanford blew out Cal 82-68 on January 2, the teams first meeting this season. If that game was an indication of how these teams would match up Saturday, this one should have been close. It wasnt. Cal pummeled Stanford 74-55.REWIND: 2nd half surge pushes Stanford past Cal, 81-68
But it was even worse than the score indicates.Cal dominated from the opening tip. Stanford Coach Johnny Dawkins actually subbed out his entire starting lineup almost three and a half minutes into the game as Cal ran out to a quick 8-2 lead.About eight minutes in, Stanford had four points, five turnovers and a shot-clock violation. The Cardinal trailed by 15.We decided we wanted to come out and be the aggressor, Cal coach Mike Montgomery explained after the game. Cal, usually a team that plays a zone defense, befuddled Stanford with a tough man-to-man scheme.By halftime Stanford had scored 21 points, tying its third-lowest scoring output in a half all season. Stanford shot an anemic 28 from the field in the first half, making 7 of 25 shots. Stanford forward Jeremy Green made four of those field goals, and had 14 of Stanfords 21 halftime points. No other Cardinal scored more than two points in the first half.Early in the second half Stanford almost made a game of it. The Cardinal cut the deficit to nine and forced Montgomery to call a timeout. Whatever he said in the huddle must have worked, as Cal immediately went on a 14-2 run to push the lead to 21. Cal capped the run with a dramatic play in transition, as Brandon Smith hurled the ball down the court to Jorge Gutierrez, who caught it under the basket using just his left hand, and in one motion tossed the ball into the air for Allen Crabbe to slam home for two of his game-high 24 points. Timeout Stanford. Game over.We wanted to jump on them like we did UCLA (on February 20), said Cal senior center Markhuri Sanders-Frison, who had 13 points and 13 rebounds in the final regular season game of his career at Haas Pavilion.Cal improved to 17-13 overall and 10-8 in Pac-10 play. Stanford dropped to 15-15 overall and 7-11 in the Pac-10.RELATED: Pac-10 standings
The Bears earned their shot to play USC in the first round of the Pac-10 tournament on Thursday by winning four games in a row to end the season. I think 17 and ten is fabulous, Montgomery said, referring to overall wins and wins in the conference. Because the Cardinal are in the bottom four of the conference, they must play a night earlier on Wednesday.Montgomery wouldnt discuss USC yet.Well cross that bridge when we get to it, he said. I think theres a lot of people in this league that can win the tournament. I put Stanford in that group. Youve seen a number of teams settle into who they are. I include us in that group.One reporter asked Montgomery how he would describe who Cal is.Were just a gritty group of guys, said Montgomery. Allen Crabbe has developed into an awfully nice player. Hes arguably the best freshman in the conference. Hes also one of the best players in the conference. Were not going to win any glamour contest. Were a gritty group of guys and our roles are defined now.

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