Cal has never won or shared a conference title.
"We know it's January," Gottlieb said. "Maybe now a conference championship is in our control."
Stanford struggled against Cal's swarming, trapping man defense that forced 10 first-half turnovers.
The Bears also generated 14 offensive boards in the opening 20 minutes on the way to a 39-31 edge at the break despite shooting 33.3 percent to Stanford's 44 percent.
"They are extremely aggressive. If there's one thing that we're not, we're not aggressive," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "We're not aggressive enough offensively. We're not aggressive enough defensively on the glass. They came in hungry. ... We had no pace. We were slow."
Typically, the two matchups are spread out by about a month — but television dictated this season's schedule.
Stanford returned to Maples Pavilion for the first game on the home court since its 82-game home winning streak was snapped in a surprising 61-35 rout by Connecticut on Dec. 29.
The Cardinal lost back-to-back home games for the first time since Feb. 16 and March 3, 2001, against Cal and Southern California.
It doesn't get any easier, with No. 14 UCLA coming to campus Friday night. Stanford hasn't lost three in a row at home since early in the 1986-87 season, VanDerveer's second year.
Stanford's points were a record-low at home in a conference game. The previous was a 63-54 loss to No. Oregon on March 5, 1987. This also marked the Cardinal's first double-digit defeat at home in Pac-12 or Pac-10 play since losing 72-57 to Cal on Feb. 4, 2007.
Stanford made just 8 of 29 field goals in the second half and went 2 for 12 from long range for a 35.2-percent performance overall.
After shooting a season-low 30.2 percent Tuesday night, Cal began the game by missing its first 10 field-goal tries before Clarendon's steal and layin at the 13:48 mark of the first half.
But the Cardinal missed 12 of their first 14 shots of the second half.
"It's hard any time you're down trying to swing the momentum back your way," Ogwumike said. "Streaks are great when you're on the good side of it. Hopefully these two tough losses at Maples will motivate us."
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