STANFORD, Calif.- Tyrone Wallace scored a game-high 20 points as California held off Stanford 69-62 on Thursday night at Maples Pavilion in the Pac-12 opener for both teams.
Tied at 56-56, California (10-4, 1-0 Pac-12) scored eight of the next 10 points to regain the lead and take control, with Justin Cobbs knocking down some key buckets down the stretch on his way to 18 points.
Stanford (9-4, 0-1 Pac-12) was paced by Dwight Powell, who finished with 16 points, five rebounds and three assists in 39 minutes. Chasson Randle added 15 points while Anthony Brown chipped in with 14 points and six boards. Josh Huestis nearly registered his third double-double, contributing nine points and eight rebounds.
Stanford shot 41.4 percent overall while California converted at 42.1 percent. However, the Cardinal struggled from three-point range (4-14) and the foul line (10-20) compared to the Golden Bears’ totals of 5-11 from beyond the arc and 16-22 from the charity stripe.
The Cardinal erased an eight-point deficit in the second half, grabbing a 56-54 lead after Powell knocked down the first of two free throws. The scoring run was highlighted by Brown’s three-pointer from the wing and a layup from Randle to take the lead.
However, Cobbs converted on a three-point play to put California back in front 57-56 with 3:31 remaining. The Golden Bears surged ahead in the final minutes, taking advantage inside once Powell and Stefan Nastic fouled out.
The largest lead for both teams was eight points, with California maintaining that edge midway through the second half while Stanford raced ahead before the first media timeout.
Stanford returns to action on Thursday, Jan. 9, at Oregon State.
- - - - - - - -
NOTES: Stanford and California were opening Pac-12 play against each other for the third time in five years … Entering tonight, Stanford had won three of the last four meetings overall and four of the last five games at Maples Pavilion … Head coach Johnny Dawkins has used the same starting lineup in every game this year … Stanford has held its opponent to fewer than 70 points in seven straight games … Dwight Powell scored in double figures for the 10th time this year. He grabbed five rebounds, increasing his career total to 703, which ranks 11th in school history … Josh Huestis tallied three blocks, giving him 153 for his career. He’s ranked third in school history behind Robin Lopez (156) and Tim Young (167) … Stefan Nastic finished with eight points and eight rebounds. Nastic knocked down his first three shots, connecting on 14 straight made field goals without a miss dating back to Dec. 21 against Michigan … For the second time in the last four games, Stanford did not receive any points from its bench … The Cardinal has made at least one three-pointer in 401 consecutive games dating back to an 0-6 outing against Purdue on Nov. 24, 2001.
- - - - - - - -
Head coach Johnny Dawkins
“I thought Cal came in and had a good game plan. They played well. I thought Wallace, especially in the first half, stepped up and played well. Early on he hit some threes and finished the night with 20 points. He did a good job for them. In the second half, Justin Cobbs played like a senior. Down the stretch he made every big play and every big shot.”
“We didn’t finish as well as we usually do. We didn’t shoot from the line how we usually do and that is very disappointing. It is something that our guys work on and they know the importance of it. Unfortunately tonight they just didn’t make them the way they are capable of.”
“They are long and are a very good team. Part of what we want to do is get the ball inside to Dwight and Stefan and those guys. They did a good job. You have to give them credit because they scouted us well and played us well in certain possessions. We didn’t drive the ball as strong as we are capable of sometimes and we missed some guys inside. Those are things we are going to have to look at and shore up as we go forward. It is just a matter of sticking with the game plan and sticking with what has worked for us this season. I thought we got out of character at times and didn’t stick with that.”
“Stefan fouling out was big. He anchors our post and not having him in there hurt us. It was a tough play. He was being aggressive. We want him going in there to the offensive boards and it was unfortunate that he went over a young man’s back. He was giving us a presence down there. A lot of our offense flows with what we do with him.”
“Our goal is to hang our hat on defense. We want to be a team that is hard to score on for 40 minutes. That is something we are still working to build on. We need to be able to come out from the tip until the buzzer and have the other team know that we were there the entire time making everything hard. We need to make every shot difficult and not give up layups. That is something we need to get back to.”
“At that point we just need to calm down more. We had a couple of turnovers that led to them scoring. They took advantage of the mistakes we made so we have to be more solid and more patient, be aware of the time and score.”
California Head Coach Mike Montgomery
“I'm pretty pleased. Our kids held their poise, they made some shots. We made some big plays down the stretch, and we were able to come out ahead. We were concerned about foul trouble, but we were able to play through it. We got good mileage out of the bench, veteran guys like Jeff Powers and Christian Behrens went and got four rebounds apiece. We're not a great foul-shooting team but we were 16-22. They missed quite a few foul shots that took away their momentum. We did a lot of things tonight we haven't done on a consistent basis. We played a lot of combinations of people who haven't played very much at all.”
“Justin has made big shots. He's pretty good in that situation. We try to get him some isolation. He's sometimes more reluctant to shoot than I think he should be. Ty (Wallace) had a really good first half and kept us in it. Ironically, he was sick a couple of days ago and didn't practice at all. The ball was coming out of his hands really nicely. It would be good if he had that kind of touch from here on out.”
“We've got to be smarter and coach better. We have a tendency, when somebody goes to the basket, to reach down or reach out and put our hands out. We've got to get smarter. Many of the teams we're playing are very, very physical. But they keep their hands out and they're not getting calls for fouls. We've got our hands in the wrong spot so we get called. By being in foul trouble it probably forced us to keep our hands back and not get reaching fouls. Of course, they helped us a little bit by missing foul shots.”