Basketball (Shutterstock)

Stanford completes season sweep of rival Cal, 76-70

For the second time in four nights, Stanford earned the upper hand against its biggest rival, this time holding off Cal 76-70 on Sunday night at Maples Pavilion.

After posting 24 points and 11 rebounds in Thursday’s 70-55 victory in Berkeley, Cardinal senior Oscar da Silva followed up with 23 points, six rebounds, and four blocks Sunday.

“He’s been as consistent as anybody,” said Stanford coach Jerod Haase. “Certainly, an elite-level performance. He can score in so many different ways. … Really a stellar performance again from him and we’ve kind of come to expect that.”

Added da Silva: “I think that’s something that just comes with personal growth and being around here for four years. I think I need to be that rock for my teammates in order for us to be successful and I really do it for them so they know they can rely on me.”

Lukas Kisunas added 12 points and six boards for Stanford (12-7, 8-5), while Michael O’Connell and Jaiden Delaire also reached double figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively. O’Connell also grabbed nine rebounds.

Junior Matt Bradley led Cal (7-14, 2-12) with 15 points. Jarred Hyder chipped in with 13 points, while Ryan Betley and Joel Brown each scored 12, but the Golden Bears still lost their sixth straight game.

Much like Thursday night’s matchup, Cal kept the game close in the first half, finding itself tied at 22 with 4:24 left before halftime. But once again, the Cardinal went on a huge run to end the half, this time a 13-2 spurt to take a 35-24 lead into the locker room.

The Cardinal continued to dominate early in the second half, scoring nine of the first 11 points for a combined 22-4 run to open up a comfortable 44-26 advantage.

The Golden Bears used a furious 18-5 run in the final minutes to get back within five with 21 seconds remaining, but the Cardinal made its free throws down the stretch to preserve the six-point victory.

“We didn’t finish the first half really well and didn’t start the second half like we wanted, but we kept battling, and then we gave ourselves a chance to make it interesting,” said Cal coach Mark Fox. “But at the end of the day, our defense is just not performing to the level which we need it to.”

Stanford shot a scorching 58 percent from the field, although they made just two of their nine three-point attempts. Cal only shot 38 percent from the field, including an 8-of-24 mark from three-point range. The Cardinal dominated inside, doubling up Cal’s points in the paint, 44-22.

Stanford once again played without star freshman Ziaire Williams, who was listed as available but missed his sixth consecutive game due to COVID-19 protocols. Senior guard Daejon Davis also sat out for the sixth straight contest with a knee injury.

Bryce Wills did return for the Cardinal after missing the previous nine games with a right knee ailment of his own. The junior finished with six points and two assists in 15 minutes before appearing to tweak the knee late in the game, though Haase didn’t think it was anything serious.

“His reaction was not such that gave me a lot of concern, but the doctors will evaluate him, the trainers, and we’ll get through tomorrow,” Haase said. “Nothing that I know right now that will be limiting, but we’ll go through all the examinations where we get from there.”

Stanford will take aim at its third straight win Thursday when they welcome the Colorado Buffaloes to Maples Pavilion at 4:00 p.m.

Cal hosts Utah on Thursday at 3:00 p.m.

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