Hibernation time: Cougars trample on Bears in Pullman

Ronnie Ghose/Staff

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Finally, the day has come: your Amazon package has arrived. After four long days of waiting for a poster of Steve Nash — your childhood idol — to arrive in the mail, you tear through the packaging, using a key to pierce through the tape only to find that it is the wrong thing entirely: a picture of Joe Ingles smiling half-heartedly for a preseason roster photo.

The Cal women’s basketball team (0-9, 8-12) experienced something like that feeling of disappointment Friday night after squandering an opportunity to earn their first win in conference play over Washington State (3-6, 10-11) — the Cougars defeated the Bears 66-92.

The blue and gold had good reason to be hopeful heading into Friday night’s matchup against Washington State, a team riding a four-game losing streak. But on Friday night, the Cougars took care of business and crushed any hope the Bears might have had of getting what they wanted.

Cal has had some trouble in the past stopping the stars on opposing teams, and this game was no exception. Borislava Hristova, a senior forward for the Cougars who’s leading her team in scoring with 18.4 points per game, racked up 20 points in the first half alone. Hristova finished with 32 points, a season-high.

Her accomplice, senior guard Chanelle Molina, was a rebounding beast, grabbing seven boards in the first half and finishing with 11 total.

The Bears had no response for the Cougars. Senior forward Jaelyn Brown, who was averaging 14.3 points per game before the game, scored just seven points. Freshman guard Jazlen Green was a bright spot in an otherwise poor team performance, scoring a career-high 18 points.

In the first few minutes of the game, it seemed as though it was possible that a Steve Nash poster was in the box, buried beneath a thick layer of foam peanuts. But as the game wore on, it was clear that a yellow Utah Jazz jersey stood where a white and purple Phoenix Suns jersey should have been.

The last time Cal lead was two minutes into the game. From there on out, Washington State dominated. At the half, Cal trailed by 15 points in large part because they were shooting just 36% from the field. The Cougars seemed to have no trouble scoring the basketball, ending the half on a 6-0 run.

Cal’s shooting woes only got worse, as they finished the game shooting an abysmal 31% from the field. The Cougars’s solid defensive display kept the Bears from getting easier points in the paint, from which they scored only 22 of their 66 points.

The Bears didn’t do themselves any favors, turning the ball over 19 times. The Cougars made sure to capitalize on those mistakes, scoring 25 points off of turnovers versus the Bears’ meager 13.

An 18-1 Cougar run in the fourth quarter sent the Bears into hibernation.

This Sunday at noon, Cal takes on Washington, the second to last team in the Pac-12. This is their next best chance to earn their first win in conference play before going down south to play USC and UCLA.

Perhaps if they dig a little deeper into the metaphorical box, they’ll find what they’ve been waiting for.

William Cooke covers women’s basketball. Contact him at [email protected].