Dec. 28, 2009
SAN DIEGO -
The California Golden Bears dropped the opening game of the Maggie Dixon Surf `n Slam Tournament Monday evening in San Diego, falling 81-69 to the Boston College Eagles.
Boston College, led by their 6-foot-6 center Carolyn Swords, built an early five point lead. Cal freshmen Layshia Clarendon and Talia Caldwell kept Cal in the game, with the two combining to score the Bears first 12 points, each going 3-for-4 from the field in the first ten minutes of the game. Cal's defense locked down the Eagles' three-point shooters through the start of the half, with the Eagles failing to connect from long range for the first 12 minutes of the game. BC found their outside stroke late, hitting five three-pointers in the final 7:30 of the first half, helping them to open up a 15-point, 40-25 halftime lead over the Bears.
Junior guard Rachelle Federico, coming off the bench midway through the first period, pulled in three key offensive rebounds. She was rewarded for her inspired play by getting to start the second half for the Bears.
The Bears began the second half on a 10-3 run, capped by a layup by Caldwell to put the deficit back in single digits, 43-35, but the Eagles fired back and quickly pushed the lead back up to double digits.
Cal went on a run with just under six minutes to play. Senior guard Alexis Gray-Lawson scored five straight points. After a technical foul on a BC player, Clarendon hit two freethrows to pull the Bears within ten. On the possession after the freethrows, freshman forward DeNesha Stallworth drained a three-pointer to make it a seven point game, 68-61. The Eagles answered with a run of their own, going back up by double digits. They held on for the victory.
Clarendon, in her first career start, also logged her first career double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Caldwell continued her hot shooting, going 7-for-9 from the floor, scoring 15 points. Gray-Lawson scored 17 points, 14 of them coming in the second half.
With the loss, Cal (5-5) will play in the tournament's consolation game on Wednesday, Dec. 30 at 6 p.m. against the Nevada Wolfpack (6-6). Nevada fell 60-72 in the opening game to San Diego. Live play-by-play of the game will be available on CalBears.com.