Feb. 18, 2012
CORVALLIS, Ore. - A 13-0 midgame run, fueled by a pair of threes from sophomore guard Afure Jemerigbe, gave the California Golden Bears enough of a cushion to survive a barrage of late-game three-pointers by Oregon State and earn a 75-68 victory over the Beavers. Junior guard Layshia Clarendon followed her 27-point performance at Oregon with 22 points against Oregon State.
The Bears turned a pair of steals in the first minute of the game into an early 4-0 lead. The Beavers came back to tie the game five times, but couldn't quite edge ahead until a layup by the Beaver's Patricia Bright gave the home team a 25-23 lead with just over five minutes left in the half. The Bears took the lead back, 30-29, on a jumper at the top of the key from redshirt sophomore forward Gennifer Brandon after capitalizing on the Beaver's 11th turnover of the half. After a quick OSU layup, Cal had a chance to take a lead into halftime, but had the ball stolen away just as Brandon was about to take a shot, with OSU converting the fastbreak layup on the opposite end to put Cal in a 33-30 hole.
Junior guard Eliza Pierre hit a jumper right before the horn, sending the Bears into the locker room trailing by one, 33-32, just the fifth time this season the Bears trailed after the first 20 minutes of play.
The Bears pressed most of the first half, causing 12 Beaver turnovers, but OSU shot 53.8 percent from the field, making 14-of-26 field goal attempts to counter the miscues. Cal shot 38.7 percent in the half (12-of-31).
To start the second half, the Bears forced the Beavers to turn the ball over three times and forced four missed field goal attempts while converting on the offensive end to open the second half on a 6-0 run to take a 38-33 lead with just under 16 minutes left to play.
A three-pointer by junior guard Layshia Clarendon gave Cal a 41-37 lead, but Oregon State answered with a three of their own and then retook the lead, 42-41, with 13:28 remaining. A layup from freshman forward Reshanda Gray followed by a Clarendon jumper put Cal back up 45-42. Pierre added a ten-footer with 12 minutes remaining, giving Cal a 47-42 lead.
After a missed three by Oregon State, Cal's sophomore guard Afure Jemerigbe found nothing but net on a long range attempt to give Cal a 50-42 lead with 11:09 remaining, the ninth-straight points scored by the Bears. Jemerigbe hit another three at the 9:40 mark to give Cal a 54-42 lead, extending the Bear run to 13-0. Oregon State hit a jumper a moment later to end the run.
The Bears pushed the lead out to 15, when the Beavers began a run of their own. After a jumper by their lone senior, Earlysia Marchbanks, Marchbanks promptly stole the ball back and converted on the other end, making it a 61-49 game with 4:30 left to play.
The Beavers Sage Indendi hit the team's fourth three-pointer of the game cut the gap to ten, 62-52, but Jemerigbe answered with her fourth three of the game, putting Cal up 65-52, with just over two minutes remaining.
Indendi converted another three, narrowing the gap again to 10, 65-55, with 1:47 left in the game. It was Oregon State's turn to put on the press, causing Cal to turn over the ball with 1:25 remaining, with OSU racing down to covert a layup to make it a 65-57 contest with 1:24 remaining.
Clarendon was fouled and sent to the line with 1:18 remaining. She hit both free throws to push the lead back to 67-57. After junior center Talia Caldwell missed the front end of a one-and-one, Indendi hit another three, making it a 67-60 game with 54 seconds remaining.
Clarendon was immediately fouled. She made one free throw, making it a 68-60 game. Oregon State's Ali Gibson drained a three, making it a 68-63 game with 43.9 remaining. It was OSU's third three-pointer in a span of one minute, six seconds. Oregon State again put on the press, trying to deny the inbounds pass. The Bears got the ball in to Pierre who was immediately fouled and sent to the line with 41.8 remaining. She made both, making it a 70-63 game. OSU got a quick layup, fouled Clarendon as she raced up the court, breaking the press. Clarendon made both free throws, keeping the gap 72-65.
Gibson hit another three with 22.8 on the clock, making it a four-point game, 72-68. Freshman point guard Brittany Boyd was fouled and sent to the line. She converted both, putting Cal up 74-68.
The Beavers put up an airball three-pointer, with Boyd coming up with the rebound, however she turned the ball over with 10.6 on the clock. Gibson threw up another three, the attempt clanking off the rim. The Bears enveloped the rebound, with Boyd coming up with it. She was fouled and sent to the line where she made one free throw. Oregon State didn't get off another shot, with Cal holding on for the 75-68 victory.
"Oregon State came out and they were fired up," said head coach Lindsay Gottlieb. "They had a great first half and we had to stick with it, pound the ball inside, be really aggressive and then play inside-out. It was really fun to see Foo step up and knock down shots and us be able to get some separation. Obviously, they made it a little close down the stretch with their three-point shooting, but our poise down the stretch was really big. I am just very happy for our players."
The win improves Cal to 20-7 on the season and 11-4 in the Pac-12. It is the Bears' fifth 20-win season in the last six years. Gottlieb joins Gooch Foster and Joanne Boyle as the only coaches in the history of the program to register a 20-win season.
The loss knocks Oregon State (17-9, 8-7 Pac-12) out of third place. Arizona State, who defeated Washington State, 47-42, on Saturday, is two games back in the race for second place with a 9-6 conference record and 18-8 overall record.
Layshia Clarendon scored a game-high 22 points, her second straight 20-point performance. Clarendon hit nine free throws and shot 60.0 percent from the field (6-of-10).
Afure Jemerigbe went 4-for-4 from the three-point line, finishing with 12 points.
The Bears were 5-for-8 from three point range (62.5 percent), but Clarendon and Jemerigbe were a combined 5-for-5 from long range.
The Bears, who opened the game making their first seven free throw attempts, went 24-of-33 from the stripe, 72.7 percent.
The Bears finish out the regular season with three consecutive games at Haas Pavilion. The Bears open the homestand on Thursday, Feb. 23, hosting the Utah Utes at 7 p.m. The Bears will then play back-to-back Saturday games, hosting Colorado on Saturday, Feb. 25th at 2 p.m. and then Stanford on Sunday, March 4 at 6 p.m. Both of the weekend games will be Cal Kids Day with all youth (ages 12th grade and younger) general admission tickets priced $1.