A Loss Within a Loss

Just in case an opening loss in conference play, to Stanford's Bay Area rivals no less, was not enough reason to bring you down, then buckle up. Stanford's starting guards shot 6-for-23, and the previously dominating frontcourt was outrebounded and outhustled. The worst news, though, would be the injury to Stanford's top performing player of the last few weeks...

Remember when Stanford appeared to have Cal's number in all of the major sports?  Or perhaps when Stanford routinely out rebounded their opponent?  Do you recall when it was a given that Stanford would hit most of their foul shots?  Stanford's 72-59 loss to Cal helped express these chronic problems the Cardinal have been plagued with this year.

Not only did Stanford end up on the short end of the game, forward Justin Davis injured his knee in the second half when he made contact with Amit Tamir.  The early prognosis is a sprain of his MCL, though a Sunday MRI will be used to more completely examine the extent of injury.  Davis is likely to miss some time, though how much is not yet known.

Despite jumping to an early lead, Stanford could do little as Cal inexorably built up an early advantage.  The Stanford guards could find no response to the Bears' early run.  Matt Lottich's first field goal attempt, a three pointer, failed to come in contact with the rim or glass.  This would become a microcosm for the entire game as Lottich was shut out for the remainder of the contest.

Even though both teams shot slightly above 40% in the first half, Cal was able to seize a 31-25 halftime lead.  The leading factor was the Bears' domination on the boards, as they accumulated a grand total of 16 offensive rebounds for the entire game.  In comparison, Stanford only had nine.

Stanford never was able to reclaim the lead in the second half. A brief rally cut the Cal lead to one, but each time the Bears would answer right back, much due to the play of Joe Shipp, who scored 12 of his 18 points after halftime.

With three minutes remaining, Stanford trailed by five points but could get no closer.  The Cardinal was severely compromised due to the injury Justin Davis sustained in the second half and the foul trouble of Rob Little.  Little would later foul out.  Left with virtually no inside game and cold outside shooters, Stanford had little chance of making a late comeback.  A late 10-2 run by the Bears helped seal the deal.

Both teams had a sub-par free throw shooting night.  Stanford shot 63% while Cal was an abysmal 55%.

Complete game box score


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