No. 18 Stanford travels to Cal for Battle of the Bay Part 1, teams jockeying in tight Pac-12 2nd place race
Battle of the Bay
- No. 18 Stanford (19-7, 11-3) at California (19-6, 11-3)
- 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET
- Pac-12 Networks/Pac-12 Now, Krista Blunk and Mary Murphy
- Radio/Audio stream: KZSU 90.1FM
Cal’s Season So Far
No. 18 Stanford and Cal begin their annual Battle of the Bay series in a tight race for second place in the Pac-12. The Cardinal, the Bears and Arizona State all own identical 11-3 conference records with four games left to play. The trio trail Oregon State (23-2, 13-1 Pac-12) in the conference standings.
Cal entered the season ranked No. 15 in the Associated Press Poll and No. 14 in the coach rankings. They rose to No. 10 (AP) after routing Sacramento State, 107-94, on Dec. 3 when senior Brittany Boyd tallied her second triple-double of the season and the third of her career. However, the Bears fell to No. 18 in the AP poll after a road loss at Kansas in early December, then another defeat at Long Beach State a week later. They came back home to host then No. 24 Louisville and suffered a 70-57 defeat. With the loss to the Cardinals, the Bears fell out of both polls.
After a rocky start to Pac-12 play in January, losing back-to-back games to Washington on the road and Arizona State at home, Cal rebounded to put together a string of eight wins including a takedown of then No. 10 Arizona State in Tempe. But, after returning to Haas Pavilion and soundly defeating UCLA 70-64 at home on Feb. 12, the Bears fell to unranked USC in a hard-fought 65-54 battle.
The Bears dominated the first half against the Trojans but fell apart after the break getting outscored 40-21 in an effort Cal head coach Lindsay Gottlieb called a disaster. The bright spot was senior forward Reshanda Gray’s 32 points and 10 rebounds.
I hate everything about day after a loss except the part where we get in the gym, look each other in the eye, decide 2get better&get 2work
— Lindsay Gottlieb (@CalCoachG) February 17, 2015
Stanford Still in the Rankings
Stanford also sits at No. 19 in the USA Today Coaches poll. They enter the contest after two home victories. They defeated USC 79-60 last Friday and followed up with a 68-50 win over UCLA Sunday afternoon.
Since the beginning of Pac-12 women’s basketball in 1986-87, the Cardinal has won outright or shared the regular-season title 23 times out of a possible 28, including the last 14 in a row. The next team on the list, Washington, has won the conference title just three times.
The Cardinal began the season ranked No. 6 in both polls and earned an a signature 88-86 overtime victory over then No. 2 Connecticut at Maples Pavilion on Nov. 17. However, just a few days later they fell to then No. 10 Texas 87-81 in another overtime game at home.
During the Rainbow Wahine Shootout in Hawaii, they lost to another ranked team, then No. 11 North Carolina after the Thanksgiving break. In mid-December, Stanford’s woes continued on an ill-fated road trip when they lost games to unranked Chattanooga followed by a trip to Knoxville where Tennessee trounced the Cardinal 59-40.
Stanford reversed the losing trend with a run of seven straight wins including four against Pac-12 teams (Colorado, Utah, Washington and Washington State). Yet Arizona State swept the Cardinal in the season series between the two teams.
In their lowest point of conference play, Stanford succumbed to Pac-12 cellar dweller Arizona in Tucson on Feb. 8, giving the Wildcats only their second conference victory.
The Battle of the Bay
Both teams head into the series looking for win No. 20. Stanford has reached 20 wins for 13 straight seasons. The teams are also fighting for a first-round bye at the Pac-12 Tournament at KeyArena in Seattle in early March.
Stanford is 62-18 all-time against Cal dating back to Feb. 12, 1975. They are 27-11 against the Golden Bears in Berkeley and won 12 of the last 13 in the series. The Cardinal has come out on top in five straight in Haas Pavilion. But, three of Cal’s last four wins over Stanford have come at Maples (2000-01, 2006-07, 2012-13).
This season is the third in which Stanford and California play both regular-season games in less than a week. Last season’s series:
- 30, 2014: No. 4 Stanford 70, No. 21 Cal 64 in Palo Alto [Recap] Chiney Ogwumike 23 points, 12 rebounds for her 16th double-double of the season
- 2, 2014: No. 4 Stanford 79, No. 21 California 64 in Berkeley [Recap] Chiney Ogwumike 29 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists
- 5 Freshman forward Kaylee Johnson 6.7 PPG, 10.3 RPG
- 23 RS Junior Jasmine Camp 0.7 PPG, 0.3 RPG
- 25 Senior forward Erica Payne 1.0 PPG, 1.2 RPG
- 33 Senior point guard Amber Orrange 12.8 PPG 4.0 RPG 3.5 APG
- 41 Senior forward Bonnie Samuelson 9.8 PPG 2.6 RPG
- 10 Sophomore guard Mercedes Jefflo 8.6 PPG, 3.3RPg
- 15 Senior point guard Brittany Boyd 13.3 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 7.3 APG
- 33 Freshman guard Gabby Green 7.2 PPG, 6.4 RPG
- 3 Freshman guard/forward Mikayla Cowling 10.8 PPG, 5.4 RPG
- 21 Senior forward Reshanda Gray 18.6 PPG, 7.1RPG
The Pac-12 Conference Race