STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Daejon Davis took advantage of a defense designed to slow down one shooter and was able to get inside a lot more than usual.
Davis scored a season-high 20 points with six rebounds and five assists in helping Stanford beat California 68-52 in the Pac-12 Conference opener for both teams Thursday night.
Tyrell Terry added 14 points and five rebounds for the Cardinal (12-2), who beat Cal at home for the first time in three years. Bryce Wills scored 10 points.
“They were denying Ty so that’s one guy out of the play and I was able to make my open shots,” Davis said. “I wasn’t trying to force stuff and I just got some shots.”
Grant Anticevich scored 16 points and had 10 rebounds to lead the Bears (6-8), who lost their fourth straight.
“I was just taking the opportunities given me,” Anticevich said. “My teammates did a good job of getting me the ball.”
California’s two leading scorers Matt Bradley and Kareem South were a combined 2-of-17 shooting for eight points early in the second half. Bradley finished with 13 points and has reached double figures in all but one game.
“When your two best scorers aren’t shooting it great, you’re going to be playing from behind,” Cal coach Mark Fox said. “That’s what happened. Matt has a good approach to the game and he had a better second half.”
Bradley’s layup midway through the second half brought the Bears within 44-35 but Davis scored the next five points and Spencer Jones hit a 3-pointer to extend Stanford’s lead.
“We worked so hard in practice this week,” Davis said. “We knew it would be a gritty, physical game.”
The Cardinal were coming off a 72-56 loss to Kansas, in which they missed their first 14 shots, but had won their first eight home contests.
“Before the season, we stressed protecting our home court,” Davis said. “Losing once didn’t sit well. We played with a little bit of a chip on our shoulder.”
Stanford missed 10 of its first 12 shots and then made 11 of its next 19, including a Jaiden Delaire 3-pointer with four seconds left, putting the Cardinal ahead 32-21 at halftime.
“We want to get inside and create out,” Davis said. “We were literally jacking 3’s and not being aggressive going to the basket.”
THE BIG PICTURE
California: The Golden Bears opened the season with four consecutive victories but have since lost eight of 10. They were looking to win their third straight win at Stanford for the first time since 1984-86. After committing at least 10 turnovers in each of their first nine games, the Bears have committed nine or fewer in three of the past five games.
Stanford: The Cardinal has committed at least 10 turnovers in its first 14 games. Stanford averaged 13.7 turnovers through nine games and then made at least 19 turnovers in its previous four games. The Cardinal lost its three previous conference openers.
After committing at least 10 turnovers in each of their first nine games, Cal has committed nine or fewer in three of the past five games. The Bears turned it over 18 times against Stanford.
“Our team has had an epidemic of turnovers throughout the year,” Fox said. “We have to get it fixed.”
California: Hosts Washington State on Thursday.
Stanford: Hosts Washington on Thursday.