Stanford sweeps Battle of the Bay series, tops Cal 79-65

Stanford wins 2019-20 series vs. Cal

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BERKELEY, Calif. – In the second game of the 2019-20 Battle of the Bay series between No. 5 Stanford (15-1, 4-0 Pac-12) and California (8-7, 0-4), the Cardinal took down the home team 79-65 at Haas Pavilion Sunday evening. With a sizeable crowd filled with die-hard fans from both teams, Stanford never trailed.  The Cardinal swept the series after two years of splitting games with their East Bay foe.

“This is a great win for our team,” Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer said. “I thought Cal came out very aggressive and, you know, we had to play through a very physical game.”

While Cal won the jump ball, Stanford raced out to a nine-point lead with a balanced scoring effort led by junior guard Kiana Williams and sophomore guard Lexie Hull who had six points each in the period.

Cal recovered in the second quarter with a balanced attack of their own. Redshirt senior guard Sara Anastasieska and freshman guard Cailyn Crocker paced the offense for the Bears during that stretch.

Cal managed to outscore Stanford 20-18 in the second period. However, at the break, Stanford led 36-29. Jones and Hull were the only players in double figures at the half. Jones scored 13 points by the break while Hull earned 11 plus six rebounds.

The Cardinal returned from the locker room after halftime to dominate the third quarter, outscoring the Bears 26-19. Cal showed more fight as the quarter waned with junior forward Alaysia Styles working hard with a layup and subsequent free throw at the 2:39 mark to help keep her team’s deficit under 20.

Heading into the fourth quarter, Stanford’s star freshman Jones had an impressive 17 points plus four assists under her belt.

The Bears kept up with the Cardinal in the fourth quarter, but the hole they stood in was insurmountable. The teams scored 17 points each in the final frame.

Even though Cal lost the game, the Bears looked much better than they did in Friday’s 73-40 defeat in game one of the series. In the first contest, Cal shot a wretched 27.3% (15-55) from the floor compared to 47% (30-64) by Stanford. Sunday, the Bears improved to 38% (21-56) while the Cardinal shot 53% (34-64). Other areas of improvement for Cal included free throw shooting, second-chance points, blocks, and fast break points.

“We wanted to come out and show that we’re a better team than we were on Friday,” said Bears head coach Charmin Smith. “And, I think we played with a lot more energy. I think the effort level was a lot better and that allows us to be more competitive. We’re learning, we’re building, and we’re growing together.”

Stanford’s Williams and Jones led all players with 21 points each. Williams also dished out five assists and pulled down six rebounds. Jones added four assists and four rebounds to her scoring. Sunday’s game marked the fifth time in the row that the freshman finished in double figures. The last time a Cardinal freshman scored in double digits for the first four conference games was in 2001, a feat accomplished by Nicole Powell.

“I thought Haley Jones had one of her best games of the year,” said VanDerveer. “Just tremendous passer, great court vision.”

It was just the second time that head coaches Smith and VanDerveer faced each other. Smith, who was a standout at Stanford, and her mentor, VanDerveer, spent time after the game talking to Cal fans in a question and answer session.

Both Cal and Stanford head north next weekend to take on Oregon and Oregon State.  The Bears play Oregon State Friday night and Stanford plays Oregon the same evening. The Bay Area teams continue the series against the Oregon schools on Sunday.

The Carol Christ Connection

UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ served as the honorary coach for the Bears. Prior to becoming chancellor, Christ was the president of Smith College, the birthplace of women’s basketball where Senda Berenson Abbott introduced the game to students in 1892. Four years later, Cal and Stanford played the first-ever women’s intercollegiate basketball game.

In 2012, Smith launched an athletics hall of fame for the college. Christ spoke at the Pioneers Hall of Fame ceremony. The first inductees included Berenson Abbot.

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