Cal women’s basketball outlasts Pacific in overtime

Michael Tao/Senior Staff

Related Posts

With 30 seconds left in the game and the Bears down by two, Cal women’s basketball guard Brittany Boyd made a swift pass from the outside to forward Reshanda Gray who was waiting in the paint. Surrounded by three Pacific defenders, Gray went up for a layup and missed but got the rebound and was fouled.

With limited time remaining, Gray had a chance to even out the score with a pair of free throws.

Stepping up to the line, she dribbled the ball a few times before stopping to look up at the basket. Gray made two clean shots to tie the game at 63 — ultimately giving her team the second chance it needed to get back into the game.

In a Saturday afternoon tilt at Haas Pavilion, the No. 21 Bears (6-2) fought to garner an extra five minutes of playtime, in which they eventually took down a fast and offensively strong Pacific team (4-3) in overtime. Cal managed to squeak by with a narrow 68-66 win to extend its win streak to five.

“In the huddle, I just told (the team), ‘We don’t come back and fight our way into overtime and then not win the game,’ ” said Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb. “Once we were in overtime, I thought our players stepped up and felt better on the defensive end with controlling the possession a little more.”

Despite a back-and-forth first half that led to a score knotted at 26-26 by halftime, the Bears’ game was plagued with several turnovers and missed opportunities. The Cal squad shot 11-for-33, including 16.7 percent in three-point field goals in the first half, while the Tigers outshot the Bears — shooting 38.7 percent and 28.6 percent in three-point field goals. Pacific junior forward Kendall Kenyon scored a majority of her 29 points feeding off of a dribble-drive offense.

The Bears noticeably picked up the pace in the second half, garnering an eight-point lead less than two minutes into the half. But that lead was short-lived, as the Tigers shot several three-pointers and layups while in transition to take control of the game and lead by a five-point margin.

Gray’s two free throws at the end of the second half eventually pitted the Bears against the Tigers for another five minutes in overtime. As the Cal squad stepped up its defense, a frantic Pacific team seemed to lose its strength in shooting, with several players struggling to find the basket.

With 11.6 seconds left in the game and the Bears leading by a single point, Pacific’s KiKi Moore quickly passed to Madison Parrish, who failed to convert a layup. Boyd rebounded the ball and garnered a foul, notching the Bears’ last point on a free throw to bring the game to a final score of 68-66.

Although the Tigers won the field-goal game on Saturday, Pacific gave up 29 free throw attempts to the Bears, while Cal only gave up 16.

“Obviously, we struggled on the offensive end, but I was really impressed with our resolve and ability to win this game when we could’ve rolled over, and we didn’t — that’s something you want to find out about a young team,” Gottlieb said. “We’ll take the win and get better next week.”

Janice Chua covers women’s basketball. Contact her at [email protected].