Coming off a devastating 78-82 loss to the USC, Stanford men’s basketball (15-3, 4-1 Pac-12) will travel to Berkeley to take on California (8-10, 2-3 Pac-12) on Sunday.
The Cardinal started the conference winning four straight games before dropping their last to USC. Against the Trojans, the Cardinal shot a lights-out 65.5% from the field in the first half. They closed the half on a 7-0 run which extended their lead to 45-25.
After the break was a different story. Not only did Stanford shoot just 34.8%, but they let USC go on two huge runs. The first was a 15-2 run that cut Stanford’s lead to single digits and the second was a 12-1 run that brought the game within four. Turnovers were also a huge problem for the Cardinal: they had 17, which led to 21 USC points. Stanford ultimately lost in overtime.
“There have been a lot of positives thus far, but also some frustration, too, as in the last game we felt we were in a position to win that game,” said head coach Jerod Haase. “We came to a screeching halt offensively in the second half and were not as aggressive. However, we also understand the big picture. 4-1 in conference is a good place to be.”
Freshman guard Tyrell Terry’s playing has excelled this season. The recent Pac-12 Freshman of the Week winner is currently second on the team in points, points per game, field goal percentage, 3-pointers made, 3-point percentage, rebounds, assists and steals. Meanwhile, fellow freshman forward Spencer Jones leads the conference in 3-pointers made and 3-point percentage.
“I knew through the recruiting process that we believed in them and thought they were really good,” Haasse said. “I’m certainly excited about what they are doing, and think they are a big part of what we are doing.”
California has struggled lately, having lost two straight, most recently to UCLA 40-50. The rivals met earlier this season in Maples with the home side coming out on top 68-52. The Bears, however, are undefeated at home in conference play this season.
Sophomore guard Matt Bradley has been leading the charge for Cal. He was named Pac-12 Player of the Week for his efforts against the Washington schools. Over that weekend, Bradley averaged 21.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists on 53% shooting, including a career-best 26-point performance against Washington State. Bradley leads the Bears in points scored, points per game and 3-pointers made.
“We understand this is going to be a big game for them, as they have been very good at home,” Haasse said. “We are going to have to be at our best.”
Tipoff is set for 3 p.m. PT on Sunday at Haas Pavilion.
Contact Gerzain Gutierrez at gerzain ‘at’ stanford.edu.