Stanford came into Berkeley hoping they could drag Cal down into a game-long slog, but the Cardinal’s blueprint for keeping it close lasted only a half. After stumbling and bumbling to a 25-25 halftime tie, Cal’s offense left Stanford in the dust en route to a 66-55 victory.
Cardinal hopes rose with Reid Travis’ return, unfortunately foul trouble curtailed Travis’ first half and plagued him in the second half as well. Travis had five points before departing with 9:49 left in the first half. Cal went +6 to close the half out, turning a six-point Cardinal lead into the aforementioned 25-25 tie.
Cal came out strong in the second half. A Jabari Bird lay-up and two Kameron Rooks free throws bracketed an 8-0 run that created separation for Cal. The lead grew as large as 11 and shrunk to six with two Travis free throws with 4:15 to go, but Stanford couldn’t get stops and couldn’t score nearly enough to make a serious run at the Bears, and that was that.
Travis finished with 17 points and five rebounds on 7-15 shooting in his return. He did have five turnovers, so there was definitely some rust in his game. Michael Humphrey was active, finishing with nine rebounds and two steals. Unfortunately, he could only muster 10 points on offense, and Stanford was gonna need way more than that on a night when Dorian Pickens struggled through a scoreless 0-3 shooting night.
In the second half, Stanford shot 36% and posted an offensive efficiency rating of 86. Cal shot 65% and had an ORtg of 113.9 over the game’s final 20 minutes. Ivan Rabb ended up with 25 points and 13 rebounds in 38 miraculously foul-free minutes while Stanford’s bigs (Travis, Humphrey, Josh Sharma, and Grant Verhoeven) finished with 14 fouls combined.
Stanford moves on to welcome the Rocky Mountain Schools starting with Colorado on Thursday and Utah on Saturday. The homestand starts the back nine in conference play for the Cardinal, in which Stanford is projected by Ken Pomeroy to lose seven times.