Late Rally Falls Short as Cal Loses to UCLA

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No. 8 UCLA defeated the Cal women's basketball team, 65-56, on Saturday afternoon at Haas Pavilion.

The Bruins were up, 32-23, at the half behind 55.6 percent shooting and 10 turnovers by the Bears, which UCLA turned into transition baskets. The Bruins' press bothered Cal (11-7, 3-4 in the Pac-10), but the Bears had even more unforced errors - they made errant passes, gave up lay-ups in their half-court defense and could not stop UCLA (16-2, 6-1) in transition.

"Wish we would have gotten off to a better start," Cal coach Joanne Boyle said, "But proud of my team for how they came out and fought and competed against a top-10 team."

The Bears played a lot sharper in the second half. They committed only six turnovers after the break and out-rebounded UCLA. With six minutes to go, senior guard Rachelle Federico faked a 3-pointer and took a step in for an easy jumper that narrowed the score to 53-47. Back-to-back baskets by the Bruins pushed the lead back up to 10, and it looked like that might seal the win.

But Cal had one run left.

Guard Eliza Pierre found power forward DeNesha Stallworth down low for a lay-up. The sophomore paced the squad with an efficient 22 points (on 9-of-14 shooting) and eight boards. Her basket started a 6-0 run, and suddenly had UCLA on the ropes with one minute remaining.

The Bruins' sophomore forward Atonye Nyingifa coolly made all four of her free throws to ice the game.


Jonathan Kuperberg covers women's basketball. Contact him at [email protected]

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