Bruins Baffle Bears

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The Cal women's basketball team scored its second basket of Friday night's game with 12:50 to go in the first half.

There weren't that many more baskets for the Bears, as they were blown out, 63-48, by No. 9 UCLA at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles.

Cal (14-11, 6-8 in the Pac-10) had trouble putting the ball in the hoop all night, shooting 31.4 percent from the field. The squad made only 3-of-16 shots from behind the arc, but was just as inaccurate from up close.

"It's hard to win a game on the road when you miss 13 uncontested layups," Bears' coach Joanne Boyle said. "We had a lot of opportunities early, but you have to be able to make layups. I think that caused us to get back on our heels."

The team's leading scorer on the season, power forward DeNesha Stallworth, made just one of her six attempts and finished with a mere five points.

Then again, it would seem that getting the ball into the paint would be consolation enough for the Bears. They struggled against the Bruins' pressure defense and committed 26 turnovers.

Sophomore Layshia Clarendon exemplified Cal's troubles. The usually consistent point guard shot 1-for-14 from the field and turned the ball over six times.

According to Boyle, Clarendon did not receive much help bringing the ball up against UCLA's press.

"There was some hiding and not wanting to be part of that press break," Boyle said. "I thought our kids got really frantic and they wanted Layshia to break the press on her own. They need to understand that she can't be in all the spots and everybody needs to be flashing in and flashing out and getting cutters."

Guard Eliza Pierre coughed up the ball six times as well, though the sophomore pitched in 12 points to pace the team.

UCLA's Rebekah Gardner led all scoring with 16 points on an efficient 5-for-6 shooting night. But the Bruins (22-2, 12-1) are all about defense and toughness - and it showed.

They had 27 turnovers, but still led nearly the entire contest, save for the Bears' opening bucket. In fact, UCLA was ahead by as many as 21 points before Cal was able to trim it down to 15.

"We rallied, but there were some moments in the first half when we got out-toughed," Boyle said. "There were some lazy passes and balls getting ripped out of our hands. They came out in the second half and were a mature team who turned it up a little bit."


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

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