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Cal finding ways to win after slow start to season, downs rival Stanford

Jan 6, 2023; Berkeley, California, USA;  Stanford Cardinal forward Harrison Ingram (55) drives the ball during the first half against California Golden Bears guard Marsalis Roberson (0) at Haas Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

California kept rival Stanford winless in Pacific-12 Conference play Friday night, riding a season-high 26 points from Dejuan Clayton to a 92-70 victory.

Sam Alajiki chipped in with 19 points off the bench and Kuany Kuany added 18 as the Golden Bears (3-13, 2-3 Pac-12) won for the third time in the last four games after starting the season with 12 straight losses.

Cal’s biggest offensive output of the season came despite the absence of top scorer Devin Askew, who missed his second consecutive game with an undisclosed injury.

Michael Jones had 14 points and Spencer Jones 13 for the Cardinal (5-10, 0-5), who have lost seven of nine after a 3-3 start.

The game’s first 15 minutes were played to a 32-all standstill before the Golden Bears took charge, finishing the half on a 13-5 run that created an eight-point lead at the break. ND Okafor had all eight of his points in the spurt.

A jumper by Clayton on Cal’s first possession of the second half opened the game’s first double-digit margin, and the Golden Bears gradually pulled away, using 59.3-percent shooting and 16-for-22 accuracy on 3-pointers.

Clayton, a transfer from Hartford who had missed the first 13 games with a hamstring injury, shot 6-for-8 on threes, while Alajiki went 5-for-6.

Stanford shot just 7-for-23 on its attempts from beyond the arc.

Clayton’s point total equaled the fourth-highest of a college career that began at Coppin State in 2016. The six 3-pointers were two more than he had made in any of his previous college games.

The 19 points by Alajiki were eight more than he had made previously in a game in his two-year Cal career, while Kuany’s 18 were two more than the senior’s previous single-game high.

Cal’s 92 points easily surpassed its previous season-high of 80, set in last Saturday’s win over Colorado.

Likewise, Stanford had not allowed more than 80 points this season, that having come against UCLA in December.

Maxime Raynaud and Isa Silva had 12 points apiece for the Cardinal, who had been much more competitive in home losses to Colorado (73-70) and Utah (71-66) last week. Raynaud also found time for a game-high eight rebounds.

–Field Level Media