Stanford comeback pushes Cal losing skid to school-record 10 games

Stanford erased a seven-point deficit in the closing six minutes to beat Cal 84-81 on Sunday afternoon at Haas Pavilion and extend the Bears’ losing skid to a school-record-tying 10 games.

It appeared as though Matt Bradley’s layup had tied it with 14.2 seconds left and could put Cal ahead with an ensuing free throw, but an official review reversed the initial call, changing it from a blocking foul to a charge and the basket was waved off.

KZ Okpala, who went 10-of-16 from the foul line on a career-best 30-point day, left the door open for the Bears by missing the first of two free-throw attempts with 13.2 seconds. But Cal could manage only a desperation three-point attempt by Paris Austin, who missed badly.

In losing their 10th straight, the Bears (5-16, 0-9 Pac-12) tied the program’s worst-ever skid set in in 1962, when it played in Harmon Gym and in the Athletic Association of Western Universities.

Cal has lost 26 of its past 27 Pac-12 games, having gone exactly a year since beating visiting Oregon State 74-70.

Stanford bumped its record to 11-10, 4-5 on a day when Okpala added eight rebounds and four assists to his best scoring effort. Bryce Willis added 16, and Daejon Davis had 14 for the Cardinal, who shot 57.1 percent to overcome 18 turnovers.

Cal was led by Sueing’s 23 points and a career-best 15 from Connor Vanover in a back-and-forth game that was never separated by more than five points. There were six ties and six lead changes in the first half when the teams combined to shoot 50 percent, but simply getting a shot was a problem.

Juhwan Harris-Dyson received the opening tipoff from Andre Kelly and promptly threw a pass to Paris Austin for a backcourt violation, setting the tone for a half with 19 turnovers between the teams.

Cal, mixing in waves of full-court pressure, scored 12 points and Stanford’s 11 first-half gaffes and went into the break ahead 38-37. The Bears stretched their first halftime lead in nearly a month (Jan. 9 against Arizona State) to seven points when Bradley’s three-pointer made it 56-49 with 12:44 to play.

Cal still led by seven with six minutes left, but Stanford finally realized it could get to the rim at will and used an 10-2 run of layups and free throws to go up 73-72 with 3:51 on the clock. The Bears led for only eight seconds the rest of the way.

Rusty Simmons is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: rsimmons@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @Rusty_SFChron

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/collegesports/article/Stanford-comeback-pushes-Cal-losing-skid-to-13585809.php.

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