It’s Day 3, and sports editor Jonathan Kuperberg is amazingly still at Staples Center, live blogging the Pac-12 Tournament finals for the women’s and men’s sides.
How better to end my three days of live blogging the Pac-12 Tournament with one last meal.
Here it is, my lunch — a turkey sandwich, potato salad, macaroni salad and chips. Staples Center rewards us, it seems, for sticking around.
Women’s Pac-12 Tournament Final: California vs. Stanford
Final: California 62, Stanford 77
5:33 – Cal 50, Stanford 67
This one is over. Cal is able to keep getting to the foul line, but the Bears can’t stop Stanford’s offensive, particularly Nnemkadi Ogwumike, who now has 29 points.
7:50 – Cal 47, Stanford 62
Nnemkadi hits a three as the shot clock is about to expire, and Tinkle follows with a jumper. Doubtful Cal can come back from this hole, but there is enough time left.
9:47 – Cal 47, Stanford 57
Gray is active. She grabs an offensive rebound and goes back to the free throw line making one. Four fouls on Chiney Ogwumike.
10:29 – Cal 44, Stanford 57
The Ogwumike sisters take turns scoring. It’s not as easy for the Bears
11:59 – Cal 42, Stanford 52
Boyd fastbreak pass to Clarendon for layup. Cal ball after the timeout.
12:49 – Cal 40, Stanford 52
Cal might be down only single digits if there was a 10-second violation in women’s basketball. Cal’s press isn’t forcing turnovers, just killing time in the backcourt.
13:29 – Cal 38, Stanford 50
Clarendon hits a jumper, then Caldwell is fouled. Makes one free throw.
14:38 – Cal 35, Stanford 50
This game is getting a little past Cal. Gray is out of control, charging for her third foul. Still plenty of time though.
16:30 – Cal 35, Stanford 46
Clarendon takes the ball out of Chiney’s hands, drives up court and hits the jumper. Boyd commits her third foul, as Orrange completes three-point play.
19:25 – Cal 33, Stanford 39
Caldwell layup to open the half. Kokenis hits a jumper.
Stanford’s .438 field goal percentage is misleading. Take away the Cardinal’s 1-for-8 3-point shooting, and the team is at 13-for-24, or 54 percent, from inside the arc. Cal is the opposite, as the Bears are shooting 5-of-9 from 3-point range but just 5-for-22 (22.7 percent) from inside the arc.
Halftime – Cal 31, Stanford 37
Clarendon sinks a pair of free throws. Cal presses Stanford on last possession, and gets Tinkle to commit the offensive foul. Bears have 14 seconds left in half. Boyd dribbles and misses a jumper from the free throw line.
1:15 – Cal 29, Stanford 37
Boyd is keeping Cal in the game. The freshman drives past two defenders and jukes the second for a layup.
2:42 – Cal 27, Stanford 35
Gray hits a pair of free throws, then Stanford turns the ball over.
3:47 – Cal 25, Stanford 33
Afure Jemerigbe takes her first shot of the game and drills a 3-pointer. The Bears keep fouling the Cardinal down low — Stanford will be going to the line again for two after the timeout.
4:53 – Cal 22, Stanford 31
Justin Hartman cleans up Caldwell’s miss. Nnemkadi drives for a layup. Ogwumikes have 22 points combined so far.
7:00 – Cal 20, Stanford 25
The Bears are a versatile team. They can run and shoot, they can pound the boards and the paint. They are just inconsistent, and rarely do both things well in one game. So far, Cal is shooting light-out from long range. We’ll see if the Bears can sustain that.
8:00 – Cal 20, Stanford 25
Boyd is on the bench, getting a breather. Not sure where the Bears will get their scoring from — that is, until Clarendon hits a three just now.
9:40 – Cal 17, Stanford 21
Boyd is really active. She hits another three and then dives on the floor to save Pierre’s block. Cal needs her and Clarendon to play at a high level. The Bears’ one advantage over Stanford is guard play. If Boyd keeps it up and Clarendon heats up, this game could get close.
11:41 – Cal 12, Stanford 21
The Bears are starting to score — Eliza Pierre is on the scoreboard with a floater. But Cal can’t seem to stop the Cardinal.
12:49 – Cal 10, Stanford 19
Nnemkadi hits consecutive jumpers, but Boyd has made consecutive threes.
13:57 – Cal 4, Stanford 15
Cal’s defense, especially on the perimeter, isn’t bad. But once Stanford is able to get the ball inside, it’s game over.
15:54 – Cal 4, Stanford 13
Boyd steals the ball and passes off to Caldwell, who dribbles in from the free throw line to score. But the Bears can’t stop the Ogwumikes. Also, Cal keeps turning the ball over.
17:12 – Cal 2, Stanford 11
Orrange scores a fastbreak layup, and Cal calls a timeout. Cardinal getting easy layup, while everything is difficult for the Bears.
18:16 – Cal 2, Stanford 5
Clarendon steals the ball. She is fouled on a jumper and makes two free throws.
18:59 – Cal 0, Stanford 3
Kokenis hits a three. Now a foul on Reshanda Gray.
California: Talia Caldwell, Reshanda Gray, Layshia Clarendon, Lindsay Sherbert, Brittany Boyd\
Stanford: Nnemkadi Ogwumike, Chiney Ogwumike, Toni Kokenis, Joslyn Tinkle, Amber Orrange
You know the story. Stanford went undefeated in Pac-12 play and haven’t lost since November. Ranked second in the nation, the Cardinal are a shoe-in for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. They have the country’s best frontcourt duo in Nnemkadi and Chiney Ogwumike — the former was the Pac-12 Player of the Years, the latter was Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. Sounds like a recipe for another conference tournament title, right?
Except for one thing — this young Cal squad came seconds away from defeating Stanford at Maples earlier this season, falling in overtime. Even though the Cardinal crushed the Bears in last Sunday’s rematch, Cal knows it can play with Stanford — and that confidence could go a long way in fueling an upset.