Sun Devils' Late Three Caps Hot-Shooting Half

Photo: DeNesha Stallworth led the Bears with 12 points in their 45-44 loss. The sophomore forward also grabbed eight rebounds, tied with teammate Talia Caldwell for the game-high.
Anne Marie Schuler/File
DeNesha Stallworth led the Bears with 12 points in their 45-44 loss. The sophomore forward also grabbed eight rebounds, tied with teammate Talia Caldwell for the game-high.

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For 39 minutes and 59-plus seconds, the Cal women's basketball team was in control on Saturday afternoon.

Unfortunately for the Bears, games don't last 39 minutes, 59 seconds and change.

Arizona State's sophomore guard Deja Mann hit a 3-pointer with .01 seconds remaining to complete the comeback and defeat Cal, 45-44, at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, Ariz.

The Bears (14-8, 6-5 in the Pac-10) led the entire game until the Sun Devils (14-7, 6-5) made back-to-back 3-pointers - first by Mann, then by junior Kimberly Brandon - to tie the game at 42.

Cal point guard Layshia Clarendon sank a pair of free throws after getting fouled on the other end. If Clarendon had ice water in her veins at the charity stripe, then Mann's were frozen solid when she drained the ultimate bomb less than a minute later.

"It's just a tough loss," Bears' coach Joanne Boyle said. "I'm just disappointed in the heartbreak of a loss. On our part, there were definite miscommunications down the stretch.

"We're a young team, and we have to learn from it."

In the first half, the Sun Devils couldn't find the basket. Their 13 first half points was their smallest output of the season in either half. The squad shot 17.4 percent in the half, missing 11 of its 12 baskets from behind the arc.

Cal wasn't much better that half. The squad made twice as many baskets as Arizona State but could not take advantage. The Bears turned the ball over 12 times - 21 times in all - and clung to just a five-point lead at the break.

After Mann opened the second half with a jumper, Cal went on an 11-2 run to break open the game. Freshman guard Lindsay Sherbert scored all five of her points during that stretch. She also pulled down five boards in the game and helped the Bears outrebound Arizona State, 33-30.

Sophomores DeNesha Stallworth and Talia Caldwell, Cal's starting post players, each grabbed eight rebounds in the contest. Half of those rebounds were on the offensive glass, but the Bears could not capitalize on second chance opportunities, missing several putbacks as the Sun Devils chipped away at the lead.

"I give a lot of credit to Arizona State," Boyle said. "They were down 12 and came back."

Stallworth paced the squad with 12 points and Clarendon added 11. Both needed to take nine shots to do so.

As cold as Arizona State was in the first half, it was sizzling in the second, shooting 54.2 percent after the break.

On the other end, Arizona State's senior forward Becca Tobin was an efficient 6-for-9 from the field and led all scorers with 14 points. She scored 12 points in the second half after not making a field goal in the first half.

Her layup with 3:43 to go cut the deficit to four. Stallworth answered with a bucket of her own before the Sun Devils scored nine of the last 11 points to close out the game.


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

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