Nov. 20, 2010
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -
After trailing by 15 points, the California Golden Bears forced double overtime at New Mexico, only to fall 63-54. Four Cal players had double digit points, including 14 by Layshia Clarendon, and a fifth, Lindsay Sherbert, had double digit rebounds.
The game began as a defensive battle with the Bears scoring the first six points of the game, keeping the Lobos off the scoreboard for almost the first five full minutes. The Lobos hit three threes to come charging back into the game, fueling an 18-0 run that put the home team up 20-8. The Lobo run was broken by sophomore guard Eliza Pierre who laid the ball in after picking the pocket of the New Mexico point guard with 7:17 left in the period. The Lobos outscored the Bears 9-5 in the remainder of the half to take a 14 point advantage, 29-15, into the locker room at halftime.
The Bears and Lobos each had the same number of field goals (6) in the first period, but UNM scored 13 from the free throw line to the Bears' three.
In the second period, the Bears forced the Lobos to turn the ball over in three of their first four possessions, converting on the opposite end to pull within 10, 31-21. The Bears cut the deficit to single digits, 32-23, on a pair of free throws by Talia Caldwell. An Eliza Pierre steal two seconds later followed by a quick jumper by Layshia Clarendon put Cal down, 32-25. A DeNesha Stallworth layup less than 20 seconds later narrowed the gap to five, 32-27. The Bears pulled within two, 32-30, on a layup by Lindsay Sherbert. The Bears officially erased the deficit with 12 minutes left in the game on a pair of Pierre free throws.
Cal retook the lead, 35-32, after another Pierre steal set up a Caldwell layup and one.
After a tie and two lead changes, the Bears trailed 41-37 with 5:43 remaining. Stallworth knocked down two to make it a 41-39 contest. The Bears pulled within two, 44-42, after a Caldwell free throw with 2:20 left in the game. After Stallworth blocked a shot and grabbed a defensive rebound, the Bears had possession with 35.1 seconds left, still trailing 44-42. Stallworth went up for a layup in the low post, was blocked, got an offensive rebound and the put back to tie the game 44-44 with 20.5 seconds left. A Lobo player was fouled going up for a layup under the basket with 7.1 seconds left. She clanked her first free throw off the front of the rim and missed the second off the backboard. The Bears ran the length of the court, setting up a Clarendon jumper in the paint as time expired, but the ball didn't fall, sending the game to overtime.
The Bears scored the first two points of the OT on Clarendon free throws. After New Mexico went ahead, 48-46, Cal tied it on another pair of Clarendon free throws with 1:00 remaining. After getting a defensive stop, Cal had possession with 27 seconds left on the clock. Clarendon took a desperation three with two seconds left, the ball clanking off the rim for double overtime.
After trailing 51-48, Cal hit their first basket of the overtimes, a three-pointer by Clarendon to tie the game 51-51 with three minutes remaining. New Mexico countered with a three-pointer as the shot clock expired to go back up 54-51. Trailing 56-52 with 1:35 left, Caldwell hit a layup after an offensive rebound to make it a 56-54 game. A jumper by Jemerigbe with 1:02 left in the game that would have tied the game circled around the rim and popped out. Cal was called for a foul on the rebound, with the Lobos converting the free throws to take a 58-54 lead with 55 seconds left. They held on for the victory.
Two strengths of the Bears' first two games, free throw shooting and three point efficiency, were absent from this game. The Bears missed their first five attempts from the charity stripe and started the game 0-15 from long range. In contrast, the Lobos were 10-for-13 from the free throw to start the game and hit four three-pointers in the first half.
In the second half, the Bears defense fueled their comeback, holding the Lobos to 1-for-13 shooting to start the period and forcing 6 turnovers in the first 12 minutes.
Lindsay Sherbert had the first double-digit rebound performance of her career, pulling in 14 boards. Sherbert had ten in the first half, half of Cal's 20 total rebounds in the opening period.
The loss snaps the Bears eight-game win streak that had included their six-game run through the WNIT and their first two games of this season. This was also the first time in program history that Cal had lost a double overtime game. The Bears were previously 5-0 in 2OT contests.
The Bears begin a three-game home stand on Tuesday night, Nov. 23, when they host Yale in a 7 p.m. game at Haas Pavilion. The Bears will also be home on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 27-28, when they host the Colliers International Classic, a tournament featuring Cal State Fullerton and a pair of 2010 NCAA Tournament participants, Portland State and Tulane. Tickets are available for those and all Cal Bear home games online or by calling 1-800-GO-BEARS.