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Stanford erases huge Cal lead, wins a thriller in overtime

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LAS VEGAS- The Stanford Cardinal had a tall task of beating a frisky Cal team led by Mark Madsen that they split the season series with this year to open the Pac-12 Tournament.

The Cardinal got the best of them just a few days ago to close out the regular season in blowout fashion, and on Wednesday they needed overtime to take down Cal. It wasn't pretty by any means, as Stanford trailed by as many as 18 points, due to their struggles from behind the line.

At the end of the first half, Stanford had made just two of their 15 threes, and Cal was as hot as they come. However, Stanford was able to ramp it up on defense to close out the game and send it to overtime, going on a 24-6 run to force extra time. Something that Michael Jones locked up with his clutch three with around 20 seconds left. 

Once overtime started, the Cardinal looked like a completely different team and ended up running away with the game.

Mar 13, 2024; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Stanford Cardinal guard Michael Jones (13) shoots against the California Golden Bears during the second half at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Stanford Mike Jones

Brandon Angel drilled a three to kick off overtime and give Stanford their first lead, and the Cardinal went on a 10-2 run as Cal absolutely fell apart. Stanford ended up outscoring Cal 18-7 in overtime, winning by a score of 87-76. 

The win extends Stanford's season for at least one more game, while effectively ending Cal's year, and keeps Jerod Haase at the helm for another day considering the head coach is viewed as being on one of the hottest seats in college basketball. Stanford is set to take on Washington State on Thursday, who had the first-round bye. The Cougars beat Stanford both times this season, by an average score of 13.5 points

Maxime Raynaud led the way for Stanford in the win on Wednesday, scoring 21 points and grabbing 13 boards. Spencer Jones also added 20 points, Brandon Angel provided 16, and Kanaan Carlyle contributed 10 points.