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Mark Madsen Has Unhappy Return to Stanford as Cardinal Crushes Cal

Golden Bears suffer their second straight lopsided loss to end the regular season as Cal scores a season-low 58 points

Former Stanford star Mark Madsen was not treated kindly in his homecoming.

Madsen on Thursday night made his first appearance at his alma mater as the head coach of the Cardinal's archrival, and Stanford clobbered Madsen's Cal Golden Bears 80-58 in both teams' final regular-season game.

The win by Stanford (13-17, 8-12 Pac-12) ended the Cardinal's six-game losing streak, and it extended Cal's losing streak to three games. This was Cal's second straight loss by more than 20 points, and the Bears' 58-point total on Thursday was their lowest scoring output of the season, one point fewer than the 59 they scored last Saturday against Utah. And Stanford statistically ranks 11th in the conference in defense.

Cal (13-18, 9-11 Pac-12) was hoping to finish .500 or better in conference play for the first time since the 2016-17 season. Instead the Bears will end up with a losing conference mark for the seventh straight season. The 9-11 mark is still better than last season's 2-18 Pac-12 record.

The next game for both teams will be Wednesday in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas. Opening-round matchups will be determined by the remaining Pac-12 games this weekend, but Cal might face Stanford in the first round.

The Bears will not have any momentum heading into that event, though. The Bears were outscored by a combined margin of 51 points in the Bears final two regular-season games against Utah and Stanford.

"I told the guys in the locker room, we have to be better than we were tonight," Madsen said. "That was not good enough tonight, especially in key stretches. So the message is, 'Hey, learn from this game, move on from this game and get out there and go on a run in Las Vegas.'"

Cal beat Stanford 73-71 in Berkeley back on January 26, and the Bears were seeking their first season sweep of the Cardinal since 2009-10. However, Cal was never in Thursday's game at Maples Pavilion.

The statistic that stood out was bench scoring, although it is slightly deceiving.  Stanford's bench outscored Cal's bench 46-8.  However, Stanford started five seniors in its final home game, which meant that Maxime Raynaud's 20 points and Kanaan Carlyle's 12 points counted as bench points. The stat does indicate Cal's lack of depth, though.

A bigger issue was Cal's 16 turnovers.

"It was a problem," Madsen said. "It was a big problem. To start the second half, Stanford's lead was single digits, and we had five turnovers in about three or four minutes. They were preventable turnovers; they were bad turnovers, and that's not good enough."

Five minutes into the second half, Stanford's nine-point halftime lead had increased to a 21-point advantage, and the game was effectively over.

Stanford also burned Cal from the perimeter, going 12-for-24 on three-pointers.

"We cannot expect to win against a team like this if we give them 12 made threes on their home floor," Madsen said.

Fardaws Aimaq led Cal with 18 points and nine rebounds, falling one rebound shy of his 20th double-double of the season, which would have tied a single-season Cal record.

Jaylon Tyson had 15 points, but he did not score in the second half. Jalen Cone had five pints on 2-for-13 shooting, and Jalen Celestine had three points on 1-for-3 shooting.

Stanford hit seven three-point shots in the first half, which ended with the Cardinal holding a 41-32 lead.

Stanford led by as many as 14 points in the first half before Cal cut the deficit to six points with 16 seconds remaining. However, Kanaan Carlyle hit a three-pointer with three seconds left t give the Cardinal a nine-point lead at intermission.

Tyson made his first five field-goal attempts and finished the first half with 15 points, but the Bears did not do enough defensively as the Cardinal hit 7-of-15 shots from long range to stay ahead.

Cover photo of Jalen Celestine by James Snook, USA TODAY Sports

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