Jan. 6, 2011
The California Golden Bears got their first Pac-10 victory of the season with a 67-55 defeat of the visiting Arizona State Sun Devils Thursday night at Haas Pavilion. Sophomore guard Layshia Clarendon scored a season-high 24 points to lead the Bears.
Cal got off to a quick start, beginning the game on a 10-2 run. The Bear defense limited the Sun Devils to just one basket in the first five and a half minutes of play. Once Arizona State found their stroke, they began scoring, pulling within two points, 14-12. A layup from sophomore forward DeNesha Stallworth on a feed from sophomore guard Layshia Clarendon followed almost immediately by a steal and a fast break layup by freshman guard Afure Jemerigbe ignited a 12-0 Cal run that put the Bears back up 26-12 with just under seven minutes to play in the first half. The Bears took a 38-28 advantage into the half time break.
In the second half, it was the Sun Devils who came out hot, pulling to within four points, 40-36. A jumper in the paint from Clarendon stopped the Arizona State run, putting Cal back up 42-36. A free throw by sophomore center Talia Caldwell with 9:20 left in the game put Cal back up by double digits, 51-41.
The Bears led 59-49 with three minutes left in the game, almost a carbon-copy of last year's meeting with the Sun Devils. This time, however, the Bears made their free throws down the stretch, going 10-for-12 from the charity stripe in the final three minutes to seal the 67-55 victory.
Cal finished the game making 50.0 percent of their shots from the field. The Bears started the game hitting 16 of their first 24 shots (66.7 percent), including making seven straight field goal attempts in the first half. Clarendon began the game making eight of her first 10 attempts.
"I am really happy to get the win," said Cal head coach Joanne Boyle. "You have to withstand their pressure defense and you have to board against them. They weren't shooting the ball great this year, but they were outrebounding people by nine, so we knew going in those were the two keys. You had to get in your mindset that you were going to have to attack the basket. [Clarendon] did a good job of that. [Stallworth] did a good job attacking from the post position. She did a great job on the boards, getting second chance points. It is one of those games you are always going to have to grind out. You can't check out. I thought we did a good job with that."
Clarendon finished with a season-high 24 points, including going 8-for-10 from the free throw line. Clarendon also had four rebounds and four assists. Stallworth had 16 points with seven rebounds and a block. Sophomore guard Eliza Pierre had five assists and eight rebounds.
With the victory, Cal improves to 9-4 on the season and evens up their Conference record at 1-1. Arizona State falls to 10-3 and 2-1 in the Pac-10.
Cal will close out their current three game homestand on Saturday, Jan. 8 when they host the Arizona Wildcats at 2:00 p.m. It is a Cal Kids Day game, presented by Outback Steakhouse. All youth, 12th grade and younger, can purchase general admission tickets for $1. There will also be pregame activities such as face painting and poster making and a post-game player autograph session.