The Cal women’s basketball team improved to No. 2 in the conference after sweeping Washington and Washington State this past weekend at Haas Pavilion. The victories also extended Cal’s winning streak to six games.
On Thursday night, the Bears (15-5, 6-2) soundly defeated Washington, 71-47, in a second-half blowout. With a 7-0 run to open up the game, the Huskies never stood a serious chance. The visitors brought the score close by the end of the first half, but Cal launched a quiet drive at the onset of the second period. From there, the Bears continued to steadily pull away from the opponents, outrebounding and outshooting.
However, Sunday’s matinee was definitely the game to watch. A middle-of-the-pack Washington State gave the Bears an unexpected test throughout 12 lead changes and seven ties. Both teams played fast and physical and the contest came down to the final seconds, but in the end Cal scraped out a 60-55 victory.
Ghost of UCLA:
As head coach Lindsay Gottlieb said, the Washington State game was “eerily similar” to the Bears’ disastrous 60-55 loss to UCLA nearly a month ago. In that road game, the Bears couldn’t finish anywhere — from the free throw line, on shots, at the post. That upset, coupled with the loss to USC on the same road trip, forced Cal to refocus on the basic aspect of controlling its own game. For the team, the Washington game finally seemed to banish the ghost of UCLA.
Cal junior guard and co-captain Layshia Clarendon, on the variety of players who step up in any given game: “Whoever’s turn, whoever is hot, whoever is getting on …You never know who it is going to be.”
Clardendon: “A win is a win. A loss is a loss. No one cares how you lost or what the score was … That’s like tournament experience right there, that kind of intense last two minutes.”
Gottlieb, on the importance of film review: “The constant message is do what you do well using the film that we show them. I tell them that is like having the answers before taking the exam.”
On Saturday at 2 p.m., the Bears travel to Stanford, Calif., to face the No. 4 Cardinal. Stanford (17-1, 8-0) is the only ranked team in the Pac-12 and the only team to still undefeated in the conference. The matchup between the first and second-place teams in the conference is definitely, at this point, the game of the season.
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