California Wins Wild Game vs. the Wildcats
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  02/02/2012

Feb. 2, 2012

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BERKELEY - After leading by double digits early in the game, the Bears needed to come from behind in the final three minutes to force overtime against the Arizona Wildcats, surviving with a 78-74 victory. Freshman Reshanda Gray, in her second career start, got her second career double double with 22 points and 13 rebounds.

The Bears got off to a lightning-quick start with sophomore guard Lindsay Sherbert draining a three-pointer to start the game, helping to lead the Bears to a 5-0 lead within the first minute of play. Freshman forward Reshanda Gray made the most of her second career start, scoring seven points in the first four minutes to help give Cal a 16-3 lead in the early going.

Arizona pulled back into the game, scoring six straight points. The Wildcats run was stopped by a feed from junior center Talia Caldwell across the key to Gray for her ninth points of the half, giving Cal a 18-9 lead.

Arizona's three-point shooting got them back in the game with back-to-back treys from Shanita Arnold narrowing the gap to five, 26-21. The Bears went back inside again, setting up Caldwell for a layup that set up an and-one, with Cal holding a 29-21 lead with seven minutes left in the first half.

The Wildcats scored on three consecutive possessions while the Bears had a pair of misses to narrow the gap to four, 30-26, with just under five minutes left in the half. After the two teams traded turnovers, freshman point guard Brittany Boyd pulled up for a jumper just outside the key to give Cal some breathing room. The Bears followed with jumpers from Sherbert and junior guard Layshia Clarendon to take a 36-28 lead. A three-pointer by Boyd, her second in the last two games, followed by a Clarendon free throw put Cal back up double digits, 40-30, with just over two minutes left in the half.

A Clarendon jumper followed by a Clarendon feed to Caldwell sent Cal into the locker room with a 44-32 lead.

After a slow start to the second half where the Bears scored just one field goal in the first seven minutes of the half, the Wildcats worked to cut the lead to single digits, 47-38, with 16 minutes left to play.

The Wildcats took further advantage of the drought, pulling to within two, 47-45, when the Bears finally ended the 13-0 Arizona run when Clarendon hit a three-pointer from the left corner with 12:02 left in the game, giving Cal a 50-45 advantage.

Arizona came all the way back, tying the game, 51-51, on a three-pointer from their leading scorer, Davelyn Whyte, who drained it on an inbounds play with just under ten minutes remaining. The Wildcats took a 54-51 lead on another three-pointer after an inbounds, this time drained by Shanita Arnold, capping a 22-5 run.

After taking a brief lead, the Bears fell behind, 63-57, after an Arizona three-pointer (hit as the shot clock was about to expire) followed by a layup hit after the Wildcats grabbed the rebound on a missed Bear free throw.

The Bears trailed 66-60 going into the final three minutes. Boyd hit a pull-up jumper, just the fifth basket of the half for the Bears, to pull within four. The Bears committed a foul seconds later, sending the Wildcats, who were in the double bonus for the final ten minutes of the half, negating the advantage.

Gray got a quick layup. Boyd promptly stole the ball back, getting it back to Gray, who scored again to make it a two point game, 68-66, with two minutes remaining. The Bears got a stop and a rebound, giving the ball to Boyd right below the basket. The freshman converted the goal to tie the game, 68-68. After getting another stop, Boyd had a chance to give the Bears the lead on a fastbreak, but she missed the layup.

Clarendon got a steal and took off on a fastbreak. She also missed the layup, with Arizona getting the rebound. The Wildcats threw the ball out of bounds with 22.5 seconds left on the clock, giving Cal possession in the tied game.

The Bears got the ball into their zone, calling time out with 19.6 on the clock. With Boyd, Caldwell, Gray, Pierre and Clarendon on the floor, Boyd set up at the top of the key. Boyd got the ball into Gray right underneath the hoop, but the Wildcats managed to tie up the ball. Cal had the possession arrow and kept the ball, inbounding with 5.1 on the clock. The Bears could not get a shot off, sending the game to overtime for the second game in a row.

After the two teams traded baskets to start overtime, junior guard Eliza Pierre gave Cal a 72-70 lead, flipping the ball into the hoop as she drove through the zone defense.

Clarendon forced a turnover. The Bears got the ball to Boyd who drove to the hoop, laying the ball in to put Cal up, 74-70, with 2:01 remaining. After Arizona got a second-chance bucket with their possession, Boyd got called for a charge, giving Arizona the ball with 1:28 and sending Boyd permanently to the bench with her fifth foul.

With 1:05 left in the game, Clarendon forced another Arizona turnover, grabbing the ball away from Davelyn White and calling time out before she could get tied up. Clarendon, with the shot clock expiring, threw up a one-handed 13-footer that somehow went into the hoop and gave Cal a 76-72 lead with 45 seconds left.

Arizona took a desperation shot with the shot clock expiring with 15.6 remaining. They got fouled on the rebound, going to the line and making two to make it a 76-74 game. Clarendon was fouled immediately, going to the line with 13.2 on the clock. Clarendon made both, putting Cal up 78-74.

Arizona threw up an air-ball three, with the ball going out of bounds after completely missing the hoop. Cal inbounded the ball to end the game, holding on for the 78-74 victory.

The Bears started the second half going 4-for-26 from the field. The closed the half making four of their final seven shots in regulation. Cal shot 51.4 percent (18-for-35) in the first half.

Reshanda Gray had a game-high 22 points with 13 rebounds. She went 8-for-11 from the field and 6-for-9 from the free throw line. Talia Caldwell also had a double double with 17 points, one shy of a career-high, and ten rebounds.

Brittany Boyd had 15 points with six assists, six rebounds, and four steals. Layshia Clarendon scored 16 points with five assists, two timely steals, and four rebounds.

"We had some real defensive breakdowns in the second half and obviously we had horrific shooting slump to start the half, but I did feel that down the stretch we were able to get the ball inside like we needed to and made plays off of that," said head coach Lindsay Gottlieb. "Obviously we are happy to get out of here with the win. I thought Arizona did a great job attacking and playing like they are hungry. We let them hang around and ultimately let them take the lead. We are just happy that we were able to do enough to fight back and get the win."

With the win, the Bears remain in second place in Pac-12 with a 7-3 conference mark and improve to 16-6 overall. Arizona falls to 13-9 and 2-8 in Pac-12 play.

The Bears will close out the roadtrip on Saturday, Feb. 4 when they head to Tempe to take on the Arizona State Sun Devils at 2 pm MT (1 pm PT).