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Stanford, Cal bring momentum into rivalry renewal

Jan 18, 2024; Stanford, California, USA; Stanford Cardinal guard Kanaan Carlyle (3) reacts during the first half against the Washington State Cougars at Maples Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports

Two Pac-12 Conference basketball teams headed in a positive direction of late hope to continue their improved play at each other’s expense when Stanford and California duel Friday night in Berkeley, Calif.

Stanford (10-8, 5-3) has won five of its last seven games, while Cal has prevailed in three of five, as the San Francisco Bay Area rivals prepare for the first of their two meetings this season.

The Cardinal are coming off a 2-1 homestand that featured wins over Utah and Washington. They got a career-high 30 points from senior Spencer Jones in their most recent action, a 90-80 triumph over the Huskies last Saturday.

The Cardinal, whose leading (Kanaan Carlyle, 15.7 points per game) and sixth-leading (Andrej Stojakovic, 8.4) scorers are freshmen, will see a different type of opponent in Cal (7-12, 3-5), Stanford coach Jerod Haase noted this week.

“They’re really an example of what college basketball is right now,” Haase observed. “A bunch of transfers, old guys that are very very talented. They’ve lost some close games, but they’re really good. We understand it’s going to be a great challenge, and it’s a rivalry game and we’re gonna need to put together a heck of an effort to have a chance.”

The architect of the new Cal look is coach Mark Madsen, who played his college ball at Stanford. Coincidentally, the Cardinal’s Haase played at Cal.

A 3-29 team last season, the Golden Bears have more than doubled their win total already this season thanks in large part to the most accomplished of their four transfers, Jaylon Tyson. He poured in 30 points when Cal outlasted Washington State 81-75 in their most recent outing last Saturday.

“This was a good one,” Tyson said of a win that came in the wake of a heart-breaking, 77-75 home defeat at the hands of Washington two nights earlier. “I think we can start stacking them now.”

Interestingly, the meeting is the first in 10 years in which both Stanford and Cal are coming off a win. The last time it happened was 2014, a game won by Stanford, 80-68.

–Field Level Media

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