The college basketball season tipped off on Wednesday for most men’s and women’s teams around the Bay Area, but unlike a typical year, coaches and players may not measure their success in wins and losses.
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise around the country and in nearly every Bay Area county, simply staying healthy enough to play is a victory as dozens of programs were forced to cancel games this week.
The Stanford men’s team had its opener against Utah Valley called off on Wednesday after the Wolverines had a positive test within the program while the Cal men’s team shuffled its schedule to open the year in a non-conference matchup with Pac-12 foe Oregon State after its initial opponent, Colorado State, registered multiple positive coronavirus tests.
Cal had already stopped practices and team meetings earlier in the month due to the coronavirus, so the Bears understand that completing the season will require an unprecedented level of flexibility.
“In a year when disruption is likely the norm, we had to adjust with our own COVID-19 shutdown earlier this month, and now with Colorado State’s situation,” Cal head coach Mark Fox said in a press release. “It was not possible to replace Colorado State on such short notice and playing Oregon State proved to be the best solution because it’s most important that we play when we can safely do so.”
Guard Matt Bradley paced Cal with 21 points in Wednesday’s opener in Corvallis, but it wasn’t enough to save the Bears in a 71-63 loss to the Beavers.
The Bears return to action at 3 p.m. on Thursday against NAIA opponent, Northwest.
San Jose State women upset Cal
The Spartans shot under 29% from the field on Wednesday, but overcame a nine-point deficit after the first quarter to earn a 56-48 win, their first victory over a Pac-12 school since 2009. Three Spartans scored in double figures including senior Tyra Whitehead who recorded her 10th career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Ayzhiana Basallo scored the final six points of the game by hitting six free throws in the last 45 seconds.
Stanford women pile it on
Stanford scored at least 21 points in all four quarters and rolled to a 108-40 win over the Cal Poly Mustangs in Wednesday’s season-opener. The 68-point margin was the third largest in program history and moved legendary head coach Tara VanDerveer within four victories of passing the late Tennessee Volunteers head coach Pat Summitt to become the all-time winningest head coach in NCAA Division I women’s basketball.
Stanford star Haley Jones scored 16 points and added 10 rebounds in her first game action since suffering a season-ending knee injury 10 months ago.
The Cardinal’s next game, a Sunday matchup with the University of Pacific, has already been canceled due to a positive COVID-19 test that forced the Tigers to suspend program operations.
St. Mary’s men lose on national television, women shoot well but drop opener
The Gaels traveled to Sioux Falls, South