National Basketball Association
California 64, Stanford 59
When: 11:00 PM ET, Thursday, March 7, 2019
Where: Maples Pavilion, Stanford, California
# Chris Rasatter, # Tony Padilla, # Michael Greenstein
Freshman Connor Vanover scored California's first 10 points during a 19-2, game-opening flurry Thursday night as the Golden Bears built a big lead and held off host Stanford 64-59 in their Pacific-12 Conference men's basketball regular-season finale.
The win gave Cal (8-22, 3-15) three straight victories headed into next week's Pac-12 Tournament, in which the Bears will be seeded 12th as the last-place team in the regular season.
Stanford (15-15, 8-10) fell temporarily into 10th place, pending the regular-season finales by Southern California (8-9) and Arizona (8-9) on Saturday.
Cal stunned the Cardinal with its fast start, during which Vanover and Stanford's KZ Okpala traded hoops in the game's first 66 seconds.
The Bears then did all the scoring for almost the next six minutes, with Vanover connecting on three 3-pointers among 11 points, while Paris Austin added two hoops and Justice Sueing one.
Down 19-2, Stanford didn't score again until Bryce Wills hit one free throw with 13:01 left in the half. The Cardinal's second field goal didn't come until Okpala hit a jumper at the 12:11 mark.
Stanford spent the rest of the evening chipping away at the big deficit, getting within 34-24 on a dunk by Okpala with eight seconds left in the half.
But Matt Bradley countered at the other end with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer, giving Cal a 37-24 advantage at the break.
Bradley and Vanover hit 3-pointers as the Bears opened the second half with an 8-0 run, building the lead to 45-24.
A 3-pointer by Cormac Ryan got Stanford within 58-55 with 1:23 to go, but Vanover, a 7-foot-3 center, converted a dunk into a three-point play at the other end, stalling the Cardinal comeback.
Vanover finished with a season-best 24 points for Cal, shooting 5-for-6 on 3-pointers.
The Bears made eight of 18 from beyond the arc, outscoring Stanford 24-12 on 3-pointers. The Cardinal went just 4-for-28.
Austin had 15 points, Bradley 14 and Sueing nine to go with a team-high 10 rebounds for Cal, which lost to Stanford 84-81 at home in February.
Okpala had 21 points for Stanford, which had won three in a row over its San Francisco Bay Area rival.
The Cardinal's Josh Sharma was the game's leading rebounder with 13 along with 11 points.
Stanford shot just 35.9 percent.
--Field Level Media
Top Game Performances
Connor Vanover 24
KZ Okpala 21
Paris Austin 4
Cormac Ryan 6
Justice Sueing 10
Josh Sharma 13
Matt Bradley 4
||Free Throws Made
Oscar Da Silva 5
Justice Sueing 3
Cormac Ryan 3
Connor Vanover 6
Oscar Da Silva 3
Team Stats Summary