Bears Avenge Losses to Huskies, Advance to Pac-10 Quarters

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When the Cal women's basketball team faced Washington for the first time, the Bears were the favorite to win, but the Huskies managed an upset.

Having beaten Cal twice, Washington was picked to prevail in their third meeting in the first round of the Pac-10 tournament. On Wednesday night in Los Angeles, however, it was the Bears that pulled off the upset.

The Galen Center crowd saw Cal (16-14) dominate the second half for a 58-48 victory, taking over a back-and-forth game that was tied at four different points and saw seven lead changes in the first half.

As the low score indicates, it wasn't the Bears shooting or offense that won the game for them but rather their high-pressure defense and second-chance shooting.

"The difference in this game was the rebounding," Washington coach Tia Jackson said.

Cal outrebounded Washington, 47-37.

"Give credit to Cal they kept coming and they kept coming hard," she added.

The Bears had 23 offensive rebounds and kept up with the Huskies (11-17) mostly through their added offensive opportunities.

"We did well on the boards getting second chance points," Cal coach Joanne Boyle said. "It started late in the first half and it continued into the second half."

The Bears relied primarily on shooting in the paint, particularly hard drives from Layshia Clarendon, who double-doubled with 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Freshman Lindsey Sherbert, who is typically an outside 3-point scorer for Cal, sat out the contest due to a suspension for a team violation.

Washington was missing defender Charmaine Barlow due to an injury, but the Huskies still had their 3-point scorer Kristi Kingma who led the Pac-10 averaging 2.81 per game. That's why it was surprising that Washington shot only 23.7 percent from outside the arc.

"She's a really smart player she'll get really good looks, fade on you do all that, so I thought the guards bought in to really chasing down the screens," Boyle said. "Once they came off the screen they were shoulder to shoulder with her, and that really made it the night harder for her."

The first half ended with the score tied at 25, both teams frustrated offensively.

A turning point for the Bears was late in the second half when Clarendon drove across the key for a dramatic lay-up and was fouled as she made it. The third point of the play, off Clarendon's free throw, gave Cal the 46-40 lead, the largest they had seen the whole game. The Huskies brought it back to 46-42 but failed to come within less than four points for the rest of the game.

That offensive drought for Washington was likely due to their inability to sink anything but free throws for almost the last nine minutes of the game. Senior Sarah Morton broke the slump with what was likely the last field goal of her career with about a minute and half to go, but it was too little too late for the Huskies.

Cal plays Arizona State in the tournament's quarterfinals on Thursday at 3 p.m.


Alex Matthews covers women's basketball. Contact her at [email protected]

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