On a buzzer beating layup, No. 8 Stanford (17-3, Pac-12 7-2) dropped its second consecutive Pac-12 game against rival California (14-5, 5-4) 81-80. The Bears’ Anna Thomas hit her first field goal of the game with no time remaining as the upset caused bedlam in Haas Pavilion.
Cal’s Kristine Anigwe, the nation’s leading rebounder, lived up to that title with 24 rebounds to go along with 25 points. However, having just picked up her fifth foul, Anigwe was off the court for the final game-winning possession.
“We thrive when we’re uncomfortable,” said Anigwe.
Anigwe was joined in double digits by three other Bears, Kianna Smith, Recee’ Caldwell and Jaelyn Brown. For Stanford, only senior forward Alanna Smith, and junior guard DiJonai Carrington broke ten points.
“Days like today are the ones you just never forget,” said Cal head coach Lindsay Gottlieb. “Any win against Stanford feels extra special because of how darn good they are, how well prepared they are. It means a lot for our confidence, and I think it means a lot for our resume.”
Smith finished with 21 points and nine rebounds, but on a subpar 9-22 shooting, including 2-9 from behind the arc. Carrington, on the other hand went 7-11 for 23 points, including two clutch free throws to briefly give Stanford a one-point lead with seven seconds remaining in the game.
“We’re disappointed and we’re hungry,” Carrington said.
Poor three-point shooting was a theme for Stanford, who finished well below its season average at 5-23. The Cardinal dominated in the paint, outscoring the Bears 42-28. The teams were knotted at 38 rebounds apiece.
“It came down to one play,” Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer said. “We didn’t get a stop when we needed to down the stretch.”
Head coach Tara VanDerveer went deep into her bench, as 10 different players made appearances for Stanford. Sophomore forward Maya Dodson returned from injury to start the game and finished with a hard-fought eight-point performance on 3-4 shooting. Dodson played much of the fourth quarter with four personal fouls. The intensity of the rivalry also meant Smith and sophomore forward Alyssa Jerome finished one foul shy of fouling out. On the other side of the ball, Anigwe and Smith fouled out.
For the first time since February of 2015, Stanford lost consecutive Pac-12 games after falling to Utah last weekend. On top of that, the Cardinal had won 19 of the last 22 in this series, but after the heartbreaking loss in the last seconds, they will host the Bears for a rematch on Saturday.
Contact Daniel Martinez-Krams at danielmk ‘at’ stanford.edu.