LAS VEGAS (AP) — Matt Bradley scored 19 points off the bench and Ryan Betley, also off the bench, scored 13 and No. 11 seed California never trailed beating sixth-seeded Stanford 76-58 on Wednesday night in the first round of the Pac-12 Conference tournament.
Bradley and Betley combined to shoot 11 for 16 including 6 for 8 from 3-point range.
Cal also sent Stanford home in the first round of last year’s tournament with a 63-51 win before the tournament was canceled due to COVID-19.
Cal (9-19) entered the tournament with just one win in its final 12 games. Wednesday’s win sends Cal into a potentially compelling Thursday quarterfinal matchup against No. 3 seed Colorado, the lone team Cal beat in its last 12 regular season games. Bradley scored a season-high 29 points in Berkeley on Feb. 13 in the win against the Buffs. However, Colorado is 3-0 against Cal in conference tournament play.
The Cardinal (4-13) entered having beaten Cal twice during the regular season. On Wednesday, the Cardinal played without freshman Ziaire Williams due to a death in his family, the university announced.
Oscar da Silva buried a 3-pointer to bring Stanford within 52-51 with 6:53 remaining, but Betley responded with a 3 and Cal proceeded to blitz Stanford 24-7 to close the game.
Andre Kelly, also off the bench, added 12 points for Cal.
Jaiden Delaire scored 14 points and da Silva and Michael O’Connell each scored 12.
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