Bay Area Sports Fan!

A blog for a Bay Area Sports Fan

Big Game Recap

Posted by davefowkes on 02/15/2009

That one hurt yesterday! A tale of two halfs. Stanford blows up Cal in the first half with a lead that reached 22 points at one point. Cal responds in the second half to pull out the 82-75 win and a season split with the Cardinal.

I could feel it coming. Despite how much the Cardinal dominated in the first half, the fact is they did it with 77% shooting. They could not miss. And they weren’t turning the ball over. The reality is all those numbers were due to come back to earth in the second half. They key to the game was a late run by Cal in the first half. Rather than going to half down 20+ they were able to make a quick run and cut the lead to 14. That gave them a manageable number in the second half and a little momentum.

Then in the second half, they just dominated. While they never seem to hit their first shot, they dominated the boards getting second and third attempts until they got the bucket. They wasted no time in coming back and while Stanford tried to fend them off, eventually they caved in.

Stanford again showed their team weakness. NO inside game. Cal won the game when the crashed the offensive boards. Stanford could do nothing to stop them. On offense, Stanford showed they are only as good as their outside shooters. In the first half they could do no wrong, but in the second half when the laws of averages hit and they started missing their shots, they really could not do anything to manufacture good shots. Stanford has a long season in front of them and with 4 outgoing seniors and only 1 incoming freshman next year, it could be a down couple of years for the Cardinal program. Johnny Dawkins is going to have to prove just how good a coach and recruiter he is. If he doesn’t….

As for Cal, Jerome Randle is an amazing point guard and he just seems to get better every time I watch him play. Cal turned their game (and maybe their season) around by playing tough perimeter defense, challenging the Cardinal on the outside. If Cal is willing to commit to playing Mike Montgomery’s defense, and they continue to hit shots, and Randle stays healthy, they really will compete in a down Pac Ten. Jorge Guttierrez looks like a great freshman and I don’t believe there are any seniors on the team. The future for Cal looks pretty bright!

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