March 17, 2010
The California Golden Bears women's basketball team advanced to the second round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament with a 74-69 overtime victory over the UC Davis Aggies at Haas Pavilion. Freshman forward Gennifer Brandon set an arena record with 21 rebounds.
Cal started the game shooting 80 percent in the first eight minutes, missing just two of their first 10 field goal attempts, but still found themselves trailing the Aggies 19-17. UC Davis hit five early three-pointers to earn the edge. After the game was tied at 23-23, Cal went on a run, taking the first real advantage of the game. A three-pointer by junior guard Rachelle Federico opened a 7-0 run that put the Bears up 30-23. UC Davis, continuing with their hot perimeter shooting, chipped away at the lead, coming back to take a 33-32 lead of their own with 3:06 remaining in the period. A pair of lead changes and two ties later, the Bears had the ball with 12 seconds left in the period with the game tied 36-36, but a pair of misses sent the game into the break with that same deadlocked score.
The start of the second half was the complete opposite of the first half, with both teams combining to score just seven points in the first seven and a half minutes. After the fifth lead change of the period, Dsvis drained a three to take a 46-42 lead with ten minutes left in the game. An 8-0 Davis run was halted by a trey from senior guard Lauren Greif, but the Aggies still held a 48-45 lead. The Bears pulled within two, 50-48, on a three by Layshia Clarendon. An inspired Davis team turned up the pressure, forcing turnovers and scoring on the offensive end to build up an eight point lead, 56-48. Cal got it back down to a two point deficit, 58-56, with 1:49 remaining after five straight points from Layshia Clarendon. Two huge blocks by Gennifer Brandon gave Cal the ball back, down two, 60-58. Brandon got a layup on the opposite end to tie the game. Davis took the ball down court, taking a shot and missing, with Brandon fighting for and getting the rebound with 15.7 seconds left in the game.
After a Cal timeout, the Bears dribbled down the court, trying to set up a play. They finally dished the ball out to Lauren Greif for a three. Her shot was blocked, but Brandon came up with the offensive rebound. She threw up a desperation buzzer beater that did not go, sending the game to overtime.
Davis scored first in the overtime, getting a steal on Cal's first possession to take a 61-60 lead on a freethrow. A Brandon putback gave Cal a short lived 62-61 lead. Davis answered seconds later with a three, going up 64-62. After a pair of ties and a pair of lead changes, the Aggies were trailing by a point, 68-67 with 1:15 remaining when they airballed a three, with Brandon pulling in the rebound. Cal got a layup by Clarendon on an inbounds play to give them a 70-67 lead with 50 seconds to play. Davis hit a layup with 24.4 seconds remaining to pull within one, 70-69. They fouled immediately, sending junior guard Rachelle Federico to the line. She missed the first but hit the second, making it a 71-69 game. Davis turned the ball over on an errant inbounds pass, giving Cal possession with 17.4. Another quick foul sent Clarendon to the line. She made both, giving Cal a 73-69 lead. Davis fouled once more after Cal got the rebound off a hasty Aggie shot. Cal held on for the 74-69 victory.
Gennifer Brandon had the most dominant game of her career, outjumping the Aggies to score 19 points, many of those coming as second-chance points, with 21 rebounds, including eight offensive boards. It was just the seventh time in Cal history that a player had 20 or more rebounds in a game. The 21 rebounds was the most by a player in a game at Haas Pavilion, surpassing the 20 pulled in by Shavaki Jackson against Arizona State on March 9, 2001. Colleen Galloway holds the Cal single game rebound mark with 26 in a game against Nevada in 1978.
Freshman guard Layshia Clarendon became Cal's go-to scoring option, with Alexis Gray-Lawson sitting out the game with a strained neck and mild concussion. Clarendon hit 10 filed goals and was a perfect 6-for-6 fron the line, scoring a career-high 29 points. It was Clarendon's fourth 20+ point game of her career, but the first time she has passed the 20-point mark since she scored 22 against Nevada on December 30.
"Our new team goal," said Clarendon. "There is no such thing as tired anymore. It's one and done. There are no excuses at all."
UC Davis, the Big West regular season champs, end their season with a 21-11 record. Cal improves to 19-13.
The victory advances Cal to the second round of the WNIT Tournament. They will host the winner of Sunday's Saint Mary's/ Utah game. Tuesday's second round game will be played at Haas Pavilion with a 7:00 p.m. tip. Live streaming audio and video will be available through CalBears.com. Tickets will be available through the athletic ticket office and CalBears.com.