No. 25 Cal women’s basketball (7-2) extended its winning streak to four as it toppled University of the Pacific on its home turf in Stockton. The Bears’ win was highlighted by their efficient offense, as they shot slightly more than 50 percent from the field and totaled 45 rebounds.
Cal struggled from the three-point line, shooting just 1 of 14 from beyond the arc that afternoon. The lone recorded three-pointer came from freshman Kianna Smith. Junior Asha Thomas, who is one of Cal’s better three-point shooters, ghosted from deep against the Tigers, missing all five shots from beyond the arc and hitting only one of six field goals.
Senior Penina Davidson and junior Kristine Anigwe were the top dogs for Cal and largely fueled the quick pace of the game, and ultimately, the win. Davidson finished with a season-high 22 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the field and totaled 10 rebounds, four of which came on the offensive end.
Anigwe had a day of her own, totaling 28 points on a very efficient 11-of-19 shooting along with a dominant 18 boards. With 11 defensive rebounds, Anigwe recorded the second-most rebounds in a game this year, following behind her unprecedented 25 boards against Brown earlier in the year.
The Tigers held their own against the nationally ranked Bears for a little more than half the contest — for much of the first two quarters, the score remained in one-possession, two-possession territory. With a little less than five minutes to play in the first quarter, the Tigers even held a one-point lead — one of the few times they had an edge over the Bears — but as quickly as the lead came, it went.
The Tigers had foul trouble the whole day, and the Bears capitalized on Pacific’s 23 committed fouls and shot 81 percent from the free-throw line.
At the half, Cal led 46-39, but as proved in the first 20 minutes of play, the seven-point lead would not be enough to keep a scrappy Pacific squad from hanging around.
When the brief break concluded and the second half came around, the Bears regrouped and made sure the funny business was over. Their lead was a little too close for comfort, but by the end of the third quarter, Cal had established a hefty 16-point lead.
Showing some resilience, Pacific managed to wrestled its way within five points with 2:21 left in the game, but close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, and the Tigers failed to hold Cal’s offense and muster up points of their own.
There were some highs and there were some lows for the Bears. While Cal came out with the win, it undoubtedly could have come in a more dominant fashion. But where one aspect on the game faulted, another picked up the slack. As the Bears head forward, with only two games left before conference play begins, they need to get every aspect of their game working cohesively, as opposed to in a patchy fashion.
Christie Aguilar covers women’s basketball. Contact her at [email protected].