Bears Scorch Cardinal
BERKELEY – The California men's basketball team's cathartic response to its difficult start to the season manifested itself in a blitzkrieg of 3-pointers against its rival on Friday night.
The Golden Bears tied a school record with 16 3-pointers at a blistering 73 percent, and Cal routed Stanford 92-70 at a spirited Haas Pavilion.
Graduate student DeJuan Clayton continued to show the difference he can make in Cal's lineup by pouring in 26 points on 6-for-8 shooting from beyond the arc in just his third game with the Bears, and Cal dished out 21 assists as a team – its most since registering 22 against Washington in 2019.
The Bears (3-13, 2-3 Pac-12) have now won three of four games after an 0-12 start.
"We're not the 0-12 team you guys saw," said sophomore Sam Alajiki, who scored a career-high 19 points. "We didn't have DeJuan. We didn't get to play together a lot. We are a completely different team now. Everyone can feel it."
Senior Kuany Kuany also had a career-high with 18 points while also adding five rebounds and three assists while point guard Joel Brown recorded a season-best seven assists.
The Bears reached the 90-point mark in a game in regulation for the first time since 2015.
"I'm really happy for our players and our fans," Cal head coach Mark Fox said. "It was a complete team effort. A ton of guys played well."
Clayton, a three-time all-conference selection at Coppin State before transferring to Hartford and finally Cal, missed the first 13 games of the season with an injury. He also had six assists against the Cardinal.
"It's amazing the difference DeJuan makes on our team," Fox said. "He is giving us some momentum. We needed him desperately. He's not going to play like this every night, but he's a calming force. He makes everybody better. He deserved a night like tonight after what he's been through."
The Bears shot 59 percent from the floor, their highest field goal percentage in a game since they converted 60 percent of their floor shots against Washington in 2015.
Cal will look to even its Pac-12 record Wednesday when it plays at Washington State at 8 p.m. on ESPNU.
"I think we are coming together at the right time," Clayton said. "We are learning how to play with each other and are just going to keep going from here. It feels great to get back on track."
For further coverage of Cal men's basketball, follow the Bears on Twitter (@CalMBBall), Instagram (@CalMBBball) and Facebook (/CalMBBall/).