Cal women’s basketball team can’t hang on to Pac-12 crown in 73-55 loss to Oregon State

Patrick Chong/File

Related Posts

There was a celebration Saturday afternoon in Corvallis, Oregon. New hats and shirts with tags still on were put on, a basket was cut, and pictures were taken. A variety of cheers, including “Clear Eyes, Full Heart, Can’t Lose,” filled Gill Coliseum, while confetti fell from above majestically. The excitement could be felt from everywhere — the court to the seats filled with fans in their brightest orange attire.

If the mention of the orange clothing didn’t give it away, then saying that this was not the No. 24 Cal women’s basketball team celebrating might be a bit of a letdown. Unfortunately, it was not the Bears’ turn, and the result of their 73-55 loss to No. 7 Oregon State was watching the Beavers celebrate their first-ever Pac-12 Championship win.

At the beginning of the season, many people would have said the Pac-12 title was the Bears’ to lose. With two of the top players in the country in their senior year, a run for the Pac-12 title seemed inevitable. But in the end, Cal wasn’t even close. The Bears will most likely enter the quest for the post-season Pac-12 Championship as the fourth seed because No. 19 Stanford was able to do what Cal could not, and the Cardinal beat the Beavers on Thursday, which will appear to give Stanford the tiebreaker.

Instead of this game being about what Cal (21-8, 13-5 Pac-12) could not do, it was more about what Oregon State could do. The Beavers shot 15 3-pointers in the game, matching their season high. They also shot 57.7 percent behind the arc. The Bears did not score a 3-pointer the entire game, going 0-7.

The standout performer for the Beavers was sophomore guard Sydney Wiese, who leads Oregon State well for such a young player. Wiese scored 23 points in the game and had seven 3-pointers, going 7 of 9 behind the arc.

In comparison, Cal’s standout players in the game, once again, were the two star seniors, guard Brittany Boyd and forward Reshanda Gray. Boyd, in her last regular-season game, had a near triple-double, scoring 15 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists. The senior’s presence on the court has always been more than her statistics, which she showed in this game. Her leadership and spirit on the court have been a huge part of the team this season.

Gray led the Bears with 20 points, had seven rebounds and showed off her ability to use her hands to catch tricky passes from Boyd.

Despite starting off the game with an 8-0 lead, Cal was unable to hold on for very long. Holding their last lead in the game with six minutes to go in the first half, the Bears’ inability to match the Beavers’ 3-pointers ended up leading to the huge point differential. Cal could not stop Oregon State on offense and also missed a lot of makeable baskets, shooting only 33.8 percent in the game.

The Bears were able to get within five points, 40-35, in the beginning of the second half with a layup by sophomore forward Courtney Range, but the Beavers responded almost immediately with a 3-pointer by Beavers junior guard Jamie Weisner.

From that point on, there was nothing the Bears could do. Oregon State took control and never gave it back. Sophomore guard Mercedes Jefflo went only 3 for 10 on shooting in the game, which had a huge impact on Cal, as she has been a crucial part of its ability to score in the last few games.

That was not the note the Bears wanted to end their regular season on. All Cal can do now is hope that it gets to face the Beavers again next weekend in Seattle, but this time with a different ending.

Alaina Getzenberg covers women’s basketball. Contact her at [email protected]