Stanford Plays the Aggressor as Cal Drops First Pac-10 Game, 75-69

Photo: Bears point guard Jerome Randle had trouble finding any room against Stanford on Saturday evening as the Cardinal held the Pac-10's second-leading scorer to just 13 points and forced him into six turnovers.
Nick Fradkin/Staff
Bears point guard Jerome Randle had trouble finding any room against Stanford on Saturday evening as the Cardinal held the Pac-10's second-leading scorer to just 13 points and forced him into six turnovers.

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STANFORD--Limiting Cal men's basketball guards Jerome Randle and Patrick Christopher to 13 and nine points, respectively, Stanford pulled away late for a 75-69 win at Maples Pavilion on Saturday afternoon, snapping the No. 23 Bears' nine-game winning streak.

Neither side saw much of a lead until the Cardinal molded an advantage in the game's final minutes. Cal trailed 71-61 with 2:03 remaining, a hole it couldn't escape.

Though Bears coach Mike Montgomery, as well as Randle and forward Jamal Boykin, admitted to not having the crispest week of practice, Montgomery made sure to attribute the Bears' loss to their lack of aggressiveness and Stanford's overall quality.

Cal (15-3, 4-1 in the Pac-10) went to the stripe just three times compared to Stanford's 17.

"Generally speaking, the team that's the aggressor gets the whistle," Montgomery said. "I don't think we were very aggressive. They were more aggressive."

Stanford (12-3, 2-3) also stayed true to its conference-leading mark defending the three -- the Bears shot 5-of-15 from beyond the arc -- forcing Cal outside its offensive comfort zone.

Christopher, who has impressed in the early goings of the Pac-10 season, attempted just eight shots. The Cardinal didn't allow much breathing room to any of the Cal shooters for that matter, seemingly forcing the hand to Boykin, who did finish with 22 points on 10-of-13 shooting and seven rebounds.

"If we don't shoot the ball -- which we haven't done a time or two very well -- we get frustrated with ourselves," Montgomery said. "We tend to focus more on that aspect of the game than other parts of the game and what we need to do."

As the Bears grew frustrated with an off-shooting night, committing 15 turnovers, they also struggled to get critical stops late in the game as Stanford built its 10-point lead. The Cardinal embarked on an 11-1 run shortly after Bears forward Harper Kamp's fourth foul sent him to the bench with 8:24 remaining in the second half.

Cal's Theo Robertson, who finished with 17 points and eight boards, did cut the lead to 71-67 on a three-pointer with 54 seconds remaining, but the Bears spent their final three possessions on two missed three's and a turnover. Stanford escaped with a win despite clanking four of its final five free-throw attempts.

"Maybe we could've done it again," Montgomery said referencing the Bears' comeback win against Washington last week. "But that's living on borrowed time. We have to be consistently better for 40 minutes."

Stanford forward Lawrence Hill led all scorers with 25 points in an impressive 11-for-15 night, while forward Landry Fields and guard Anthony Goods poured in 15 and 19, respectively, for the Cardinal.

Montgomery offered high remarks for Stanford's athleticism, noting that coach Johnny Dawkins runs a system "perfect" for his personnel.

"I thought Stanford was very well prepared," he said. "They had the advantage of having four perimeter guys that could switch everything ... It allows them to switch and take you out of some stuff."

Randle took a knee to his left ankle late in the game, but said that he felt fine in the post-game press conference.


Contact Andrew Kim at [email protected]

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