Jan. 28, 2012
Stanford, Calif. (AP) - The California players celebrated when they forced two Stanford misses in the closing seconds of regulation to force overtime. The Golden Bears were unable to celebrate a second time as they once again fell just short against a marquee team.
Chiney Ogwumike scored three of her career-high 27 points in overtime to go with a career-high 18 rebounds and Cal made just one field goal in the extra session to lose 74-71 to No. 4 Stanford on Saturday.
"We want to put ourselves in the company of the elite programs in the country," first-year coach Lindsay Gottlieb said. "I think we've done that. Now we need that next step: knock down free throws when we need to, take advantage of what they're giving us, get critical stops. That's all part of the process."
Cal fell to 1-4 this season against ranked opponents, with the only win coming in Hawaii in November against former coach Joanne Boyle's Virginia team. The losses have been by a combined nine points.
The Golden Bears (15-6, 6-3) scored the final nine points of regulation and came up with a key late stop to force overtime and then Stanford (18-1, 9-0) hung on in the extra session for the win.
Cal missed eight of its nine field goal attempts in overtime, including two 3-pointers by Layshia Clarendon that could have tied it on the final possession.
"The first one felt good, it looked, good. It just grazed the front of the rim," Clarendon said. "It hurts a little bit."
Toni Kokenis added 18 points, including two key free throws in overtime, and Nnemkadi Ogwumike had 12 to move past Val Whiting into fourth place on the all-time scoring list for the Cardinal despite shooting 6-for-18.
Her little sister, Chiney, made up for that off night to help Stanford win its 15th straight game.
"I like it," Nnemkadi Ogwumike said. "This is something we'll see in the tournament. Teams can pick their poison but they'll be poisoned by something else. I have faith in my teammates."
Chiney Ogwumike scored a layup on Stanford's opening possession of overtime and the Cardinal didn't make another basket the rest of the way.
"The mindset was we have to throw the first punch," she said. "We have to assert ourselves first."
Brittany Boyd scored a career-high 19 poingts and Clarendon added 17 for the Bears, who had won six straight games. Clarendon became the 22nd Cal player to reach the 1,000 milestone, finishing the day with 1,016.
Stanford extended its home winning streak to 74 games and has won 66 in a row against Pac-12 opponents. Cal was the last team to snap either of those streaks, beating the Cardinal 72-57 at Maples Pavilion on Feb. 4, 2007, and 57-54 in Berkeley on Jan. 18, 2009. Those are two rare wins for the Bears in this series as they have lost 39 of the past 42 meetings.
The Bears fought back repeatedly in this game. They scored nine straight to cut the deficit to five points. But Chiney Ogwumike blocked Reshanda Gray at one end and Bonnie Samuelson hit two 3-pointers for STANFORD to extend the lead to nine points.
Cal then forced overtime by scoring the final nine points of regulation. Clarendon's 3-pointer with 36.5 seconds left cut Stanford's lead to 69-67. After Taylor Greenfield missed a front-end of a one-on-one for Stanford, Clarendon hit two free throws to tie it with 27.6 seconds remaining.
Stanford had two chances to win it at the end of regulation by Nnemkadi Ogwumike missed a jumper and Kokenis' tip attempt rolled off the rim at the buzzer, sending the Cardinal to overtime at home for the first time since beating Tennessee 73-69 on Dec. 22, 2007.
"Our players were celebrating when we got that last stop," Gottlieb said. "It felt like a little bit of a win when we got that stop. ... I felt like if we could just get a lead at some point (in the overtime) then maybe we would get a little bit of a boost."
The Bears are back on the road next week, opening up on Thursday, Feb. 2 at Arizona. On Saturday, Feb. 4, the Bears will take on the Arizona State Sun Devils who are currently tied with Cal for second place in the Pac-12 at 6-3.