Miscues, Missed Shot Plague Bears in Loss to Cougars

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DeNesha Stallworth missed a short jumper in the waning seconds on Saturday and the Cal women's basketball team fell, 68-66, to Washington State at Haas Pavilion.

With the score all tied up at 66, the Cougars' Jazmine Perkins split a pair of free throws to give her team the lead. The Bears called a timeout, but Eliza Pierre's inbounds pass was intercepted by Perkins.

"We didn't know if they were gonna be in man or zone out of bounds so we have a play that we can run against either one," Cal coach Joanne Boyle said. "And we just stand in the box and think that someone is just gonna haphazardly get open, and no movement and we just chuck the pass."

Perkins was fouled immediately and the junior guard once again split the pair. With 14 seconds, Cal tried to run a high ball screen and Stallworth was able to attempt a shot just inside the free throw line but could not covert.

"We just tried to get to the rim at that point and get fouled," Boyle said.

The Bears (14-10, 6-7 in the Pac-10) had been up nearly the entire second half but the Cougars (8-17, 6-7) chipped away at the lead. They were 5-of-12 from 3-point range in the period and tied the score at 62-62 with 3:09 to go.

After making her first free throw, Washington state guard April Cook missed the second but her teammate Carly Noyes grabbed the offensive rebound and made the putback to complete the unique 3-point play.

Point guard Layshia Clarendon scored a layup to narrow the deficit to one point and Cal had a chance to take the lead a possession later but center Talia Caldwell missed both of her free throws. The Bears were 12-for-21 overall from the charity stripe.

In the last two minutes of the game, Cal fouled Washington State every single time down. Cook made one of two, but Clarendon hit a floater in the lane to tie the score at 66.

Clarendon finished with 16 points and six rebounds. All six of her assists were in the first half, a period that was characterized by runs. The Cougars went on a 7-1 streak early, but the Bears responded with a 16-4 stretch to take the lead. The whole first half, particularly the last few minutes, was plagued by miscues and poor shot selection.

"We were pushing the ball really well but we were taking quick shots - quick threes, long rebounds," Clarendon said.

Playing almost the entire game, Stallworth scored a game-high 20 points and pulled down seven boards for Cal.


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

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