Bears Outgun Oregon, 90-67
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  01/07/2012

Jan. 7, 2012

Final Stats |  Quotes | Post game Press Conference

BERKELEY - The Golden Bears outgunned the Oregon Ducks, 90-67, in the Bears highest-scoring game of the year. Cal's starting posts combined for 34 points and 32 rebounds while sophomore Mikayla Lyles' hot outside shooting added to the Bears' dominant performance.

Sophomore guard Lindsay Sherbert's rainbow three 15 seconds into Saturday afternoon' game started a 15-2 Cal run that set the tone for the rest of the contest.

The Ducks, coached by the legendary Paul Westhead, finally found their stroke in their "run-and-gun" offense with just under fourteen minutes remaining in the first half, pulling to within eight, 17-9. A pair of three-pointers by sophomore guard Mikayla Lyles pushed the Bears lead up to 16, 25-9, with just under 12 minutes left in the half.

The Bears took a 20-point lead, 34-13, with just over eight minutes remaining on a three-pointer at the top of the arc from junior guard Layshia Clarendon.

The Bears and Ducks traded baskets back and forth with Cal's fifth three of the half, the second from Clarendon, reestablishing a twenty point lead, 43-23, with just under four minutes to play.

The Bears also had a strong presence in the paint with junior center Talia Caldwell making her fifth layup (in five attempts) of the first-half, giving Cal a 45-23 lead with three minutes left in the period.

The Bears scored their 50th point with 1:41 remaining in the first half on a pair of free throws from Lyles. Lyles then hit her fourth three of the game to send the Bears into the locker room with a 54-35 lead.

The second half began at a much slower pace. The Bears did not hit a field goal until Clarendon made a jumper nearly five minutes into the half, breaking a 9-3 Duck run. Redshirt sophomore forward Gennifer Brandon followed on the next possession with a layup, putting Cal up 61-44.

The Bears offense stalled until there were just over seven minutes left in the game. Holding a 70-55 advantage, freshman forward Reshanda Gray got a steal which led to two points from the free throw line from Clarendon. An O-board and putback by Brandon gave Cal two more. Cal forced another turnover which became a feed from Boyd to Gray for two more Cal points. Another turnover forced, another Boyd to Gray dish added two more points. Two baskets by Boyd and several free throws added up to a 14-0 Cal run, putting the Bears up 84-55 with three minutes remaining.

The Bears slowed things down again, content to cruise through the final minutes to earn the 90-67 victory, the highest-scoring game of the season so far for the Bears.

"This was a fun game in this building," said head coach Lindsay Gottlieb. "It was great that this was our first weekend home game with the Cal Kids Day because I think the fans saw a really exciting and fun game of basketball. Most of all, I am proud of the fact that our players, on one day of prep, really owned the game plan. I think they were committed to stopping Oregon's signature run and gun style and also letting people know that we have a style too that's hard to stop."

The Bears post players scored 44 points in the paint, with 29 second-chance points. The Ducks scored just one second chance point in the game. Starting forwards Gennifer Brandon and Talia Caldwell combined for 34 points and 32 rebounds, including 17 offensive rebounds. Brandon and Caldwell combined for more rebounds than the entire Duck team (26). Individually, Brandon had her fifth double double of the season with 17 points and 19 rebounds (9 offensive, 10 defensive). Caldwell had her second double double (her first since the second game of the season) with 15 points and 13 rebounds.

"This is a particular game where [Brandon] is going to thrive," Gottlieb said. "Oregon is so spread out and they are playing so up and down so there is no one who is going to out jump or out run Gennifer in the game and I think she played to her strengths really, really well. I thought she made good decisions. She finished well, she knocked down her free-throws and she rebounds better than anybody I have seen so it was fun to see her in her element."

The Bears, who are second in the nation in rebounding margin, outrebounded the Ducks by 37, 63-26.

"I thought our bigs did a tremendous job on the boards," said Gottlieb. "As much as Oregon likes to run, we like to rebound and I think we let our strength be the major factor today."

Reshanda Gray scored 11 points, going a perfect 3-for-3 from the field and 5-for-6 from the free throw line.

Mikayla Lyles scored a career-high 14 points, all coming in the first half.

With the win, the Bears improve to 11-5 (2-2 Pac-12), while the Ducks fall to 9-7 (1-3 Pac-12).

"We've talked all year about having depth and sometimes that means there are people who want to play more, but we have people who are committed to doing what we need to do for the team to win," Gottlieb said. "There is nobody who buys into that more, who's in the gym more than Mikayla. It was really good and fun for me to see her knock down shots, but not surprising."

The Bears will go back on the road, taking on the Colorado Buffaloes for the first time as Pac-12 opponents. The two teams will meet on Thursday, Jan. 12 in Boulder in a rematch of the WNIT second round game that ended Cal's season last year. The Bears will then continue on to face Utah on Sunday, Jan. 15 in a game that will be televised nationally on FSN and locally on CSN Bay Area.