Sports

Defense a no-show in Stanford's Pac-12 loss to Cal

 

Stanford men's basketball coach Johnny Dawkins has to find a way to rewrite the Cardinal's itinerary when it plays on the road. There seems to be unused tickets for the defense.

It happened again Saturday and Stanford had only to travel across the bay to Berkeley. The defense never got off the bus and the Cardinal dropped a 76-61 decision to host California to fall a bit further in the Pac-12 Conference race.

Stanford (11-10, 4-6 Pac-12) hopes to find a little comfort at home, where it will play four of its next six games, beginning with a visit from Oregon State, which the Cardinal beat in Corvallis a month ago, on Thursday night at 8 p.m.

"It's about coming out and executing the game plan," Dawkins said. "We have to prepare properly. Our defense hasn't traveled and we need to focus in on that end of the court."

Making matters worse, both Grant Verhoeven and Josh Sharma fouled out of the game, leaving the Cardinal without a healthy post player.

Michael Humphrey, who suffered a knee contusion in the loss at Utah, was limited to two minutes when his knee stiffened up on him. Sophomore Travis Reid, who missed his 13th game, remains unavailable with a stress reaction in his left leg.

Rosco Allen scored all 16 of his points in the second half as the Golden Bears concentrated a lot of their defensive effort on him.

"They did a great job of having an awareness of where he was at all times," Dawkins said.

Allen recorded a double-double against Cal in the team's first meeting and that caught Cal's eye.

"Rosco is not an easy task," Bears coach Cuonzo Martin said. "We felt like we had to stay in front of him. If he gets loose, than the best we can do is trade baskets with them."

Cal is 15.8 points and 10.5 rebounds better at home and exceeded both averages against the Cardinal, which shot 38.2 percent from the field. Cal shot 53.7 percent overall.

"We let them get comfortable," Allen said. "They got into a rhythm and we weren't able to disrupt them."

Stanford fell to 1-5 on the road. Only Cal and Washington State are worse.

Dorian Pickens added 10 points for the Cardinal, which lost its third straight and fourth in the last five overall.

Stanford scored the game's first six points and then missed six straight shots. Cal had two 9-0 runs in the first half and opened a double-digit advantage with 6:31 remaining.

The Bears, who shot 53 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes, took advantage of their quickness, drawing 15 fouls and turning them into 16 made free throws.

The Cardinal were 2 of 6 from the foul line and shot 33 percent from the field. Cal took a 41-25 halftime lead.

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