Nov. 3, 2011
BERKELEY - The Lindsay Gottlieb coaching era got off to its unofficial star on Thursday night as the California Golden Bears defeated the visiting Vanguard Lions, 99-58, in a preseason exhibition contest. Hometown girl Brittany Boyd dazzled, scoring 18 points with nine rebounds, five assists, and five steals.
The Bears used a bucket by junior center Talia Caldwell and a pair of freethrows from sophomore Gen Brandon to jump out to a 4-0 lead. The Vanguard Lions made a bucket to make it 4-2, the last time the game would really be in doubt.
Cal led 18-10 when the team mounted a 12-0 run that included back-to-back buckets by freshman forward Justine Hartman, an and-one from Brandon, a trey from sophomore guard Mikayla Lyles, and a fastbreak from junior guard Layshia Clarendon. The Bears held a 28-10 advantage after the run and never looked back.
Sophomore guard Afure Jemerigbe hit a three-pointer with four seconds left in the first half to give Cal a 52-33 lead at the break.
A layup by freshman forward Reshanda Gray with 4:41 remaining in the game gave the Bears their 90th point. Sophomore guard Lindsay Sherbert got a layup after an offensive rebound with just over a minute left to give Cal its 99th point, giving Cal the 99-58 victory with the Bears defense held the Lions to just 25 points in the second half.
"I thought it was a great night in Haas," said first-year head coach Lindsay Gottlieb. "My first volleyball game that I came to, I got the chills when the lights went off. I thought, 'what is this going to be like when it is for us and we are playing?' It was better than I imagined. I thought tonight was a really good night to get it going, to work out some of the kinks. I thought we played together. It was good to get everyone in. I think you are going to see that we are going to be an exciting team with a lot of potential to get even better."
Boyd, taking the court less than a mile from where she played her high school basketball, wowed the hometown crowd with 18 points, going 7-for-10 from the field. The point guard, who came into the game from the bench and only played 20 minutes, also pulled in nine rebounds, dished five assists, and grabbed five steals. The 5-9 guard also had two blocks.
"When you put a ball in this kid's hands and the lights go on, obviously she is really special," said Gottlieb. "This whole class is going to be fun."
Brandon, returning to competition after redshirting last season with a stress fracture in her shin, had a double double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
"We were told the Lions were going to be quick, so we were supposed to keep them in front of us, have a hand up and be prepared when they shoot," said Brandon. "I think we did very well with sticking with the game plan and going with the defense that Coach G had drawn up."
The Bears had six players in double figures. The bench accounted for 64 points. Cal also managed to score 28 points on the fast break.
"To me, it was finally good to get this one out of the way, to let the team get the uniforms on, and be able to move forward in preparation for what is to come," Gottlieb said.
This is the lone exhibition game for the Bears. They will open the regular season on the road at Rutgers on Sunday, Nov. 13. Cal's first official home game of the season will be on Thursday, Nov. 17 when they host Sacramento State.