BERKELEY, Calif. (AP)Stanford certainly wanted a tough challenge with a week ahead that features road games at fellow Pac-12 powers Oregon and Oregon State. California provided that push while desperately seeking a much-improved performance against its rival than the outcome of two days earlier.
Kiana Williams had 21 points, six rebounds and five assists, and No. 5 Stanford made it a weekend sweep of Cal with a 79-65 victory Sunday night in the second meeting over three days between the Bay Area rivals.
Haley Jones also scored 21 and Lexie Hull added 15 to help Stanford win its fifth straight game since a loss at Texas on Dec. 22.
Now come perhaps the toughest back-to-back tests yet for Hall of Fame coach Tara VanDerveer’s young Cardinal: a weekend road trip to play the Oregon schools.
A glimpse of Final Four-caliber teams? Perhaps.
”Or at least a regional,” VanDerveer quipped.
”I feel like we have control of our own destiny. What better situation to be in?” she added.
Stanford (15-1, 4-0 Pac-12) made 9 of 14 shots out of halftime to pull away as Cal began 2 for 10 and the Cardinal produced a 13-0 run in the fourth quarter.
”There is a flow to Stanford basketball when they are in their comfort zone. You saw it a little bit in the fourth quarter,” Cal coach Charmin Smith said.
Cal scorng leader Jaelyn Brown, averaging 14.8 points, had 14 after being held to four on just four shots in Friday’s loss.
The Golden Bears (8-7, 0-4), playing a difficult stretch with four straight games facing teams that were ranked in the top-five this week, lost their fourth straight game and fifth in six following a seven-game winning streak.
But Cal responded with more energy on both ends after Stanford took the first game of the Battle of the Bay on Friday night in lopsided fashion, holding the Bears to season-lows in points and field-goal percentage at 27.3. The 33-point victory was Stanford’s largest margin in the rivalry since a 78-45 win Jan. 2, 2011.
”We’re just motivating each other each time out and we weren’t happy how we came out on Friday,” Cal guard Cailyn Crocker said.
VanDerveer considered it only a ”halftime” of sorts afterward Friday considering the teams had to play again so soon. In the initial meeting she became the first women’s coach with 500 regular-season victories in a single conference having accomplished the feat in the Pac-12 – formerly the Pac-10.
Cal wanted to be disruptive defensively and scored 13 points off Stanford’s 11 first-half turnovers to stay within 36-29 at halftime despite Stanford shooting 52% in the initial two quarters.
”If we were playing perfect in January, I might as well just retire or something,” VanDerveer said.
Stanford has won nine of the last 11 against Cal overall but the teams had split the previous two season series.
Cal freshman guard Jazlen Green was placed in the concussion protocol following an evaluation by the medical staff. She hit her head in a collision with Lacie Hull at the 6:56 mark of the second quarter. Green didn’t return but was able to walk off the court with supervision, holding the left side of her head.
VanDerveer again coached against former player and Stanford assistant Smith, now Cal’s first-year head coach. The women talked for several minutes before the game in front of the Stanford bench, then stayed afterward to address Cal supporters in a chat session.
VanDerveer is 50-5 all-time against her former assistants and 48-9 against her former players.
”This is what we want for Bay Area basketball right here in Berkeley!” Smith told the crowd of 6,724 after the final buzzer. ”This will be one of the best rivalries. We will get there. … Keep coming back and get to know them. They deserve your applause.”
Cal used the game to formally kick off a year-long celebration on campus called ”150 years of Women at Berkeley,” commemorating he UC Regents’ unanimous decision in October 1870 to adopt a resolution allowing women to be admitted to the university. So, Cal and the athletic department will spend 2020 celebrating contributions by women of Berkeley.
Carol Christ, the first woman to be a Chancellor at Cal-Berkeley, was an honorary coach for the game. Others also were recognized throughout the game.
Stanford: The Cardinal begin 4-0 in conference play for the second straight season. … Stanford held a 40-26 rebounding advantage after it was 50-29 on Friday. … Jones is the first Stanford freshman to score in double figures in the first four conference games since Nicole Powell did so in nine straight conference games to begin 2001. … The Cardinal went 7-2 on the road in Pac-12 play last season. … The Cardinal committed 17 turnovers after having 12 on Friday.
California: The Bears had won the past two matchups against Stanford at home in Haas Pavilion but hasn’t won three straight at home vs. the Cardinal since the mid-1980s. … Cal is 7-4 at home this season.
Stanford: At Oregon on Friday night. The Ducks are expected to drop from No. 2 in the Top-25 poll after losing Friday night at Arizona State.
California: At Oregon State on Friday night having lost eight straight to the Beavers, who lost Sunday at Arizona State and also should fall in the poll after being ranked third.
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