Cal Crushed... Again

While there is no novelty in beating up on the Bad News Bears from Berzerkeley, the way this Stanford team came together in a 82-62 Pac-10 opening win was good to see. Julius Barnes and Matt Lottich had career nights, which was needed with Casey Jacobsen and Curtis Borchardt in foul trouble... and single digits scoring.

Julius Barnes has been an up and down player in his tenure at Stanford. Friday night was his highest point to date on the Farm, as he led Stanford to another dumping of the Golden Bears from Berkeley. This game wasn’t as easy as the final score might indicate, but after 26 minutes of action it was all Julius Barnes all the time. The game started out slow with Stanford leading 12-11 after the first tem minutes of action. The first half was a very sloppy and often painful thing to watch, as the Pac-10 refs made themselves known with four offensive foul calls in a row in one stretch. Stanford was able to gain a 34-31 halftime lead after a very rough first half of play. After getting two nine point leads, Cal cut the lead to 47-44 and then Stanford seized control. As a team, they hit five three pointers in a row and never looked back. The lead ballooned to 66-46, and the rout was on. The starters all returned to the bench and the game was over by all intensive purposes.

As mentioned, Julius Barnes led Stanford with 27 points and 5 assists. He had many highlight-reel plays including a coast to coast three-point play and an improbable spinning 360° lay-up. He also hit Matt Lottich often in transition to extend the Stanford lead. Barnes also was playing some extended minutes at the point guard spot, something that we could be seeing in the near future. Borchardt had a rather slow game but was again dominant on the defensive end. He changed many Cal shots and blocked two of them to go with his eight rebounds. Josh also came off the bench to have his best performance since the Purdue game, with 13 points. Besides Barnes, the story of the night was the great game by Matt Lottich. He came off the bench and had 12 points in ten minutes. He was all over the place and his three-point shot looked very good.

With all the positives coming out of this game, there were some negatives. The first and foremost is what is going on with Casey Jacobsen? True, no one here can expect him to score 30 points a night but it seems like he really in a slump. He is getting hounded on the offensive end and it seems to be getting to him. He only scored seven points and really has to work hard for everything. This is nothing to get worried about, but it isn’t fun seeing the 1st team All-American struggle on the floor.

Overall the game was a really good sign. This team is capable of far more than they showed in Las Vegas and is really starting to hit its stride at the perfect time. The defense even tightened up Friday night as Cal only shot 34%. Stanford also outrebounded Cal 40-30 and prevented them from having second chance shots. After it seemed like this team was going downhill, it has rejuvenated itself coming off two very impressive victories.

Once again, another tough game in Berkeley as the Cardinal travel to a hostile Haas Pavilion Sunday. Hope to see you all there!

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