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The Battle of the Bay: California Golden Bears vs. Stanford Cardinal

In the first game of the Battle of the Bay, the Stanford Cardinal defeated the California Golden Bears at Haas Pavilion. In the second game, Cal beat Stanford at Maples Pavilion and made the Pac-12 season a lot more interesting.

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15 Total Updates since January 17, 2013
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Should conference rivals be placed in same region?

The placement of the 2-seeded California Golden Bears in the Spokane region with the 1-seeded Stanford Cardinal is probably going to be the source of some discussion and, perhaps, frustration among women's basketball fans. But it worked out well for Cal. Click here for the full bracket.

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What did we learn about Stanford against Cal?

Even after their Pac-12 winning streak ended against the California Golden Bears, the Stanford Cardinal still have to be considered one of the nation's elite teams. But what, if anything, did we learn about the Cardinal from their performance in the Battle of the Bay?

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What we learned about Cal in the Battle of the Bay

The California Golden Bears beat the Stanford Cardinal for the first time in a few years on Sunday and now find themselves ranked one spot below the perennial Pac-12 juggernaut at #7 in the AP and USA Today/Coaches polls nationally. But what exactly did we learn about Cal from that victory that might serve them going forward as they make their case for entry into the nation's elite?

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Three reasons that Cal beat Stanford at Maples

A look back at three things that the California Golden Bears did well in their victory over the Stanford Cardinal at Maples Pavilion. For more on the game, check out our storystream on the right hand side of this page.

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Photo galleries from the Battle of the Bay

Stanford Cardinal fan Baranduin Briggs took galleries full of photos of the Battle of the Bay at both Haas Pavilion and Maples Pavilion.

Check them out using the links below:

Game 1 at Haas Pavilion

Game 2 at Maples Pavilion

You can follow Baranduin on Twitter via @bbamok. For more on the game, check out our Battle of the Bay storystream.

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How Cal stifled Stanford's offense at Maples

The 2013 edition of the Battle of the Bay was definitely something of a defensive chess match between an up and coming coach in Lindsay Gottlieb and a coaching master in Tara VanDerveer.

In game two at Maples Pavilion on Sunday, it was Cal that came up with a defensive strategy that Stanford struggled to solve, as described by C&R in their summary of the game.

Which brings us to…Stanford’s offense. It is the same one they played in the first game at Cal. And for the full 40 minutes at home against Cal. Now, you know Cal was studying the heck out of the game, which Gottlieb admitted post game, why not try something different? Especially since it did not work very well the first time and obviously was failing in this game. The ball mostly goes in the middle to the post at the top of the circle. She has her back to the basket and waits, slowly waits, for the guard to come around. Sometimes they have to gesture for someone to come around. Only one player appears to be moving at a time. It is so slow and Cal knew it was coming. Cal forced four, count ‘em, four shot clock violations, and when have you ever seen that in a Stanford game?

A combination of anticipating where the ball was going in Stanford's offense and targeted traps on Ogwumike and in corners was a significant part of why Cal was able to overcome their own offensive struggles to notch a major win on the road.

For the full Stanford perspective on Cal's big win, check out the rest of C&R's recap of the game from Maples. For more on the entire Battle of the Bay, check out our storystream.

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The big picture after Cal beat Stanford at Maples

There's plenty to be said about the California Golden Bears' big win over the Stanford Cardinal at Maples Pavilion today, but its significance goes beyond just the end of a streak.

As alluded to by Nick at SB Nation's California Golden Blogs, Cal's win represents a shift in how we think about the distribution of power in the Pac-12 for this season and possibly beyond.

So, what does this mean? Well, here's the big picture:

1. A top 2 seed in March is very much on the table.
2. The Pac-12 race is on.

Here's a not so bold prediction: Cal and Stanford will not go through the rest of the Pac-12 regular season unscathed. UCLA in particular is too good and the rest of the conference has improved enough that somebody will stub their toe.

It's a reasonable prediction and, although they both lost to the Bay Area's teams at home, it's not unfathomable that the Colorado Buffaloes or Utah Utes could end up being a player in tripping one of the conference's top-ranked teams up as well, which could make things either more exciting - or disappointing, depending on your rooting interests - to watch than it has been in a number of years.

For more of the Cal perspective on their win, check out SBN's California Golden Blogs. For more on the Battle of the Bay in general, check out our storystream documenting both games.

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Cal defeats Stanford to end 81-game win streak

A big 67-55 win for the California Golden Bears program, players, and coaching staff to bring the season series with the Stanford Cardinal to 1-1 and make the road ahead in the conference much, much more interesting.

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Why Cal should not press Stanford more often

While Stanford Cardinal fans C&R wondered why the California Golden Bears didn't press more in Tuesday's game at Haas Pavilion, Cal fan Nick from SB Nation's California Golden Blogs suggested Cal do the exact opposite in his preview of Sunday's game two.

I'll be honest - against elite teams, I don't think Cal's press is a very effective strategy. The Bears have the athletes to completely overwhelm teams that aren't capable of matching up. Stanford is capable. People have rightly made much of how UConn disrupted Stanford's offense with pressure. But over the last two years I've seen Stanford score a transition basket because they broke down the press much more often than I recall Cal slowing down the Cardinal. Granted, a decent amount of the press Cal played came at the end of the game, when the Bears were losing and were forced to make something happen. If the game is close, I don't want to see the press more often than once or twice as a surprise.

Will it happen again? No, because I have a feeling we'll only see the press once or twice, if at all.

For more on the first game - which could certainly be used as a preview for the second - check out our Battle of the Bay storystream.

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Should Cal have pressed more against Stanford?

C&R popped in with their analysis of the first edition of the Battle of the Bay and made an important observation about the California Golden Bears' defensive approach against the Stanford Cardinal in the first game of the Battle of the Bay on Tuesday night.

Things Cal should have done well:
So Cal breaks out their new and improved vaulted press. They get a steal and a basket, and then don't try it again for 10 whole minutes (Not sure how many minutes between, but why not press every time?) Well, when they did press again, Stanford easily passed to the half court line, and unlike the UConn game, they took the ball straight to the basket without waiting for the defense to catch up. The result an easy lay up. Now Cal is 1-1 on the press. But they stop trying it until the final minute. C and R are still scratching their heads about that decision. And will Gottleib rethink that for Sunday?

I was wondering the same thing and in fact, I'd add even add something: when Cal pressed late in the second half and Stanford broke it, one of the major reasons they broke it so easily was that Reshanda Gray fell down while trying to rotate to guard the rim. Not to say that she alone would've stopped Stanford from scoring had she been able to stay on her feet, but it wouldn't have been nearly as easy.

Then, as C&R point out, we didn't see the press that much after that.

Given the results, it seems that going back to the press more often and giving it a few more possessions tries would've been worthwhile with Cal struggling to score. Then again, it's much easier to press a team like Stanford when you are scoring points, as Cal found out last year at the end of regulation at Maples Pavilion last season.

Click here to read the rest of C&R's observations. For more post-game reaction to the first installment of the Battle of the Bay, check out our storystream.

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Three reasons Cal lost to Stanford in Berkeley

Looking to ride the wave of momentum from the best start to the season in program history, the California Golden Bears came into to last night's game looking to end the Stanford Cardinal's Pac-12 winning streak. Unfortunately, Stanford was a bit too much for them and they fell 62-53 (boxscore).

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Stanford's defense stifles Cal in 62-53 win

The California Golden Bears came into tonight's contest with the Stanford Cardinal with high hopes and, according to Jonathan Okanes of the Cal Bear Blog, the atmosphere matched the anticipation of the game.

Unfortunately, as Okanes also described, Cal wasn't able to solve Stanford's defense on the court as they fell to their rivals 62-53.

The Bears certainly did some things well, most notably one of the things they seemingly always do well - crash the offensive glass. Cal registered 21 offensive rebounds which led to 22 second-chance points. But in the end, the Bears simply couldn't ever get it going offensively against Stanford's impeccable defense...Stanford made it hard for Cal to get its post players going, sagging off the Bears' perimeter players and taking away passing angles inside. The Bears attempted a season-high 21 3-pointers and made only two.

And if you want the brief synopsis, you could probably sum up this game in one sentence: although the Cardinal didn't keep the Bears from getting second chance points, their disciplined defense forced Cal out of their comfort zone.

Well, that and Chiney Ogwumike's 26 points on 11-for-16 shooting without getting a breather.

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Why Cal beating Stanford wouldn't be an "upset"

The Stanford Cardinal face the California Golden Bears tonight at 7 p.m. PST at Haas Pavilion for the first of two games in five days between two of the top 10 teams in the nation that could end up determining the Pac-12's regular season champion, or at least having a significant bearing on the race for the title.

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Just how close is Cal to the nation's elite?

The California Golden Bears enter today's Battle of the Bay against the Stanford Cardinal off to their best start in program history and among the top 10 teams in the nation by whatever poll or rating system you look at. Before looking specifically at how they match up with Stanford, we look back at their performance in non-conference play to get a longer view of their strengths and weaknesses.

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Where does Stanford rank among the elite?

The Stanford Cardinal will face the California Golden Bears in what could have a significant impact on determining the Pac-12 champion this season with both entering at 2-0. Before looking at each team's performances against the Colorado Buffaloes and Utah Utes, we look at Stanford's non-conference performance to get a longer view of their strengths and weaknesses.

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