Cal women’s basketball’s season ends with 75-56 loss to Baylor in second round of NCAA tournament

Patrick Chong/Staff

Related Posts

An interspecies brawl resulted in the termination of the Cal women’s basketball team’s run in the NCAA tournament.

The No. 7 seed Bears fell victim to the No. 2 seed Baylor Bears (31-4) on Monday, after advancing to the second round with a win over Fordham in the first round. The squads were neck and neck through the first half, but Baylor pulled away in the second to take the game, 75-56.

The win sends Baylor to the Sweet 16 while the loss sends Cal (22-10) home, ending the season for the team and the careers of several seniors.

The bout seemed evenly matched through the first half, as the two teams vied for the lead. The advantage traded hands 17 times.  Both teams hit about 42 percent of their field goals in the first half.

Cal had a chance to exploit Baylor’s Achilles’ heel in the final minutes of the first half, when foul trouble sent two of Baylor’s key players to the bench. Odyssey Sims, who ended up as the game’s leading scorer with 27 points, spent the final eight minutes of the half sidelined. Nina Davis, Baylor’s second-leading scorer in the game with 13 points, joined her for the final seven minutes. Baylor’s Imani Wright hit a 3-pointer to close out the half with Baylor in the lead, 34-33.

Baylor broke the game open with a seven-point run to open the second half. Cal clawed back to tie the game at 44 with just under 14 minutes left on the clock, but Baylor controlled the game from that point on. Baylor went on a 13-2 run to bring the game under five minutes while Cal was unable to recover, as Baylor outscored the Bears 41-23 in the second half.

The loss ejected Cal from the tournament, in which it reached the Final Four last season. Despite the disappointment, the game did hold some highlights for the squad. Gennifer Brandon set Cal’s NCAA tournament single-game rebounding record with 15 in the game. Afure Jemerigbe led Cal with 17 points, while Brittany Boyd — who has struggled with an ankle injury for several weeks — had 15 points.

With the win, Baylor advances to the Sweet 16 to face Kentucky (26-8).

Taylor Brink covers women’s basketball. Contact her at [email protected]