Men's Basketball

January 2, 2011

Hoops Round-Up: The Bears Go Down (Twice)

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By The Daily Axe Staff
Montgomery during his time as Stanford head coach. (Image by avinashkunnath via Flickr)

As in, the California Golden Bears. Stanford basketball–both men and women–took care of Cal in style. We’ll start with the men’s game, which wrapped up the day in Maples Pavilion.

Men defeat California, 82-68

Stanford used its best performance of the season to put away Mike Montgomery’s Bears at home on the Farm. Stanford led by just 4 at the half, but put the firepower of the highly touted freshman class to work after the break to outscore their Bay Area rival. In a fashion that now looks like a habit for this year’s team, Stanford showed a polish and resilience in the second half that they only showed glimpses of in the game’s first 20 minutes. Cal put up an identical 34 points in both halves, and struggled to get the ball inside, where the Stanford defense is most vulnerable. Montgomery, who coached Stanford for 18 seasons, looks to be at the head of a team with less talent than the Card have.

Forward Dwight Powell, the gem of the freshman class, posted 20 points and a monster alley-oop on Cal big man Harper Kamp. And Powell played with an evident fire (he stared Kamp down after dunking on the 6′ 8″ junior) that seemed to have been absent from the team since the graduation of Landry Fields at the end of last season. If he can parlay tonight’s performance into consistently excellent games as the season goes on, he could very well emerge as the primary scoring option for the Card. Jeremy Green also scored 20 points against Cal, but did the majority of his scoring (14 points) in the first half.

Freshman Anthony Brown added 11 points on some excellent spot-up shooting, and fellow rookie Aaron Bright notched the third double-digit scoring performance of his career, scoring 10 points. Bright continues to look more and more comfortable running the offense from the point each game.

Stanford is now 8-4 overall and 1-0 in the PAC-10; Cal is 7-6 and 0-1 in conference play. Stanford also improves to 7-0 in Maples Pavilion this season. Cal was the last team to beat Stanford in Maples, a feat the Bears accomplished in last season’s regular season finale on March 6.

Stanford’s next game takes place on Thursday night at 5:30 PM against the Arizona State Sun Devils in Tempe’s Wells Fargo Arena.

Women defeat California, 78-45

Everyone knew that even Cal’s home court advantage at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley would pose no threat to Stanford’s remarkable week. Stanford’s ability to hold the Bears to just 45 points rendered the Card’s offense virtually irrelevant, but they didn’t let up on the offensive end. 4 of Stanford’s starters scored in double digits, while freshman guard Toni Kokenis went for 12 points and a steal in just 17 minutes. Stanford guard Jeanette Pohlen once again led scorers with 15 points on the afternoon, and Nneka Ogwumike followed close behind with 14 points. Chiney Ogwumike and Kayla Pedersen each had 11 points.

Center Talia Caldwell led a Cal team that looked over-matched throughout the day. The Bears only managed 18 points in the first half, and only led once: when the score was 2-0.

Cal drops to 8-4 overall and 0-1 in conference play; Stanford moves to 10-2 overall and 1-0 in the PAC-10.

Stanford will play Arizona in Maples Pavilion on Thursday at 7:00 PM.

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The Daily Axe Staff
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