Jan. 21, 2010
EUGENE, ORE. -
The California Golden Bears earned a 72-62 victory over the Oregon Ducks in Eugene Thursday night. Alexis Gray-Lawson led the Bears with 19 points.
In the first half, Cal, down 6-8, got a run started on a steal by freshman Eliza Pierre leading to an Alexis Gray-Lawson layup. Cal scored 11 straight points in a frantic two minutes to take a nine point lead, 17-8 just over five minutes into the game. In a half that featured five ties and six lead changes, Oregon came back, but never held more than a two-point lead. A strong offensive rebound and tip-in by Gennifer Brandon put Cal back in the lead, 29-28, with 6:56 remaining. They would not trail again in the game. Cal's defense kept Oregon off the scoreboard for over five minutes late in the half while Cal's offense scored 11 points on the other end. The Bears took a 32-42 lead into the half.
In the second half, Cal pushed their lead out to 20, 58-38, with 13 minutes remaining after going on a 9-1 run with Eliza Pierre scoring five of those points. Oregon managed to knock Cal's lead back to single digits, 60-69, with 26 seconds remaining in the game, but a layup by senior guard Natasha Vital put the lead back up to 11. Cal held on for the 72-62 victory.
Cal's defense held the potent Oregon offense to just 62 points. Oregon entered the game as the top-scoring offense in the nation, averaging over 84 points per game. The Bears outrebounded the Ducks by 22, 53-21. Freshman center Talia Caldwell pulled in a career-high 13 rebounds in 24 minutes on the court. Cal was credited with five blocks in the game, four of them coming in the first ten minutes of the game.
"We were 'no threes and no layups,"said Coach Boyle of her plan for stopping Oregon. "We wanted to make them as much of a mid-range team as possible. I think they got loose a little bit early in the second half, but other than that, I thought we did a great job not letting them get open looks."
"It was a track race," said Pierre. "We had to hurry up and get back. We weren't used to doing it. We couldn't have everybody crash. We had to change a lot of things a lot of times. It pretty much worked for us."
With the victory, Cal pulls to an even 3-3 in Pac-10 games and improves to 9-8 overall.
Cal closes out their Oregon trip on Saturday, Jan. 23 when they take on the Oregon State Beavers in a 7 p.m. game in Corvallis. Live streaming audio of the game will be available on CalBears.com.