Feb. 20, 2010
The California Golden Bears finished their regular-season sweep of the Oregon schools with a 79-73 victory over the Oregon Ducks . DeNesha Stallworth and Gennifer Brandon each had a double double for the Bears.
Cal got off to a blistering start in the first half, hitting six of their first seven field goal attempts to take a 17-9 lead with freshman guard Layshia Clarendon scoring seven points in the first four minutes of the game. The first half was also a series of scoring runs with Oregon going on an 8-0 run to tie the game, 17-17. Cal answered with an 11-0 run, fueled by five points from freshman forward DeNesha Stallworth, to go up 28-17. Oregon then mounted a 9-0 run to pull within two, 28-26. Cal scored seven straight points, with freshman forward Gennifer Brandon scoring four straight, to build back a cushion of nine points, 35-26. The Ducks pulled within three, 40-37, with a minute and a half left in the period, but Stallworth closed out the period with a jumper and a pair of freethrows to give Cal a 44-37 lead. Stallworth made sure Cal kept the seven point advantage going into the break, smacking down a shot attempt by Oregon's Micaela Cocks with a second left in the period.
After Oregon pulled within three, 52-49, five and a half minutes into the second half, Cal built another cushion with a putback by Talia Caldwell followed by an and-one three point play by Alexis Gray-Lawson to make it a 57-49 game. Oregon chipped away at the lead, coming back to within a point, 58-57 with 11:03 remaining. After two full minutes when neither team could find a way to score, Oregon took their first lead of the game on a pair of freethrows, holding a 59-58 advantage. After three ties and three lead changes, DeNesha Stallworth hit a jumper in the paint to give Cal a 68-67 lead. After an Oregon three-point attempt circled the rim and popped back out, Alexis Gray-Lawson hit from long range to give Cal a 71-67 lead with 2:25 left in the game.
Cal entered the final two minutes with a 71-69 lead. DeNesha Stallworth got a high-low feed from Gennifer Brandon to give Cal a 73-69 advantage. Cal would need the breathing room. Oregon pulled within three, 74-71, with just over a minute remaining. Alexis Gray-Lawson hit five freethrows in the final minute to help secure the 79-73 victory.
"We knew it was going to be a track meet,"said head coach Joanne Boyle. "We have been in so many close games this year, we know what it takes to grind out the last five minutes. In this game, that is just what we had to do.
Two Bears had double-double. DeNesha Stallworth had the second double-double of her career, scoring 19 points with 19 rebounds. Gennifer Brandon had her team-leading fourth double-double of the year with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Alexis Gray-Lawson score 19 points, 15 coming in the second half. Layshia Clarendon scored 17 points, 14 coming in the first half.
"I thought Gen did a great job on the boards," said Boyle. "She had some put backs. She did a really good job at the freethrow line. DeNesha was getting her touches and finishing. Layshia started off really strong in transition... Talia got some crucial put backs for us. If you are going to go far int his world of basketball, you need to have more people scoring for you."
The Bears outrebounded the Ducks 51-28, with the Cal defense allowing just five Oregon offensive rebounds.
With the victory, the Bears improve to 16-10 and 10-5 in the Pac-10. They remain a game and a half up in the race for third place with three games remaining before the Conference tournament.
Cal will be on the road next week, playing at Arizona on Thursday evening, Feb. 25, followed by a game at Arizona State on Saturday, Feb. 27. The Bears will close out the regular season at home, hosting Stanford on Saturday March 6. Tickets for the Battle of the Bay are available online from CalBears.com. The Stanford game will be a Cal Kids Day where all youth tickets are just $1.