Dec. 7, 2012
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - A balanced scoring effort and nearly complete performance was exactly what head coach Lindsay Gottlieb wanted for her No. 11 California Golden Bears following their first loss of the season. Less than a week after dropping a 77-63 decision at No. 4 Duke, Cal returned to the road and responded with an 84-46 victory over CSU Bakersfield Friday night at the Icardo Center.
"It was great," Gottlieb said. "I'm proud of our players. People ask if you're going to be able to get them up for this game after playing a team like Duke, and I don't even have to worry about that. Our players are full of energy. They are so committed to each other. They were excited to play again, so I was happy that we were able to come out and play better. Obviously I'll look at the film and there are things you want to improve but I liked our effort tonight and the complete contributions we got from everybody."
The Bears were led by 19 points from both Brittany Boyd and Gennifer Brandon in a game that was never close. It was the second consecutive strong offensive outing for Boyd who put up 28 points in the Duke contest five days ago. The total was a season-best for Brandon, who also collected nine rebounds in the game.
Reshanda Gray and Justine Hartman both added 12 points for the Bears in a game that saw nine players hit the scoring sheet. Shooting 50.4 percent for the game, Cal out-rebounded the Roadrunners 48-23 and put the game away in the opening minutes as the first ranked opponent to visit the Icardo Center since CSU Bakersfield made the transition to Division I.
"We talked about if you want to be an elite team, you really expect anybody that comes off the bench to perform at that level," Gottlieb said. "I think we really saw it tonight. In addition to that, there are people on our team whose skillsets may be more needed in one game than another. Today they were giving us that high post area, and Justine (Hartman) is arguably the best from that area. She got in a great rhythm. Mik (Mikayla Lyles) knocked down some big 3's and had a calming presence for us. When you come in here and win by a lot and have no one play more than 25 minutes, that really speaks to how our team is built with our depth and versatility."
The Bears began the game with a 13-1 run to take control in front of a California-partial crowd at the Icardo Center. Brandon, Gray and Boyd each hit three field goals in the opening stretch with Boyd's three-pointer at 15:46 marking the 13th point of the game for the Bears.
Methodically keeping the Roadrunners below their season-average from the field, the Bears built the lead through the course of the half, leading by as many as 27 en route to a 50-23 halftime advantage.
Boyd took over the beginning of the second half with 10 consecutive points for the Bears to stretch the lead. California led by as many as 43 in the game and had no players play over 25 minutes.
Cal takes 10 days off before traveling to Northwestern for the final non-conference road game of the season. The game between the Bears and Wildcats is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. (ET).