Feb. 16, 2012
EUGENE, Ore. - Junior guard Layshia Clarendon's 17 first-half points helped the California Golden Bears battle the Oregon Ducks for a 83-71 road victory in Eugene. Ten different players on the two teams combined to hit 21 three-pointers in the game.
The game began with three lead changes in the first three minutes. The Ducks managed to take the first substantial lead of the game, going up 27-20 with 8:14 left in the half. Junior guard Layshia Clarendon began cutting into the lead with a jumper 20 seconds later, her 15th points of the half. The Bears completed the comeback, tying the game, 28-28, on a three-pointer by sophomore guard Mikayla Lyles. Lyles was the fourth different Bear to make a three in the period, with the shooters starting the game making six of their first seven three-point attempts.
After the Bears knotted the game, Oregon again pushed ahead, this time with a five-point advantage, 35-30, with 4:31 left in the half. Redshirt sophomore forward Gennifer Brandon took the first three-point shot of her career, draining her trey from the top of the arc to pull within a pair. Brandon tied the game, 35-35, at the free throw line with 3:25 left in the half.
Clarendon hit a pull-up jumper with a minute left in the half to give Cal a 37-35 advantage. The Ducks, who hadn't scored since getting a five-point advantage with 4:31 left in the half, also failed to convert on two tries in the final minute, heading into the half trailing by two.
The Ducks recovered from their cold shooting, with a three-pointer from Jordan Loera putting the Ducks back into the lead, 46-44, with 14:47 left in the game. A second Loera three gave Oregon a six-point advantage, 50-44, with 13:58 remaining.
The Bears pounded the ball down low, scoring five straight points to tie the game, 50-50, only to have Oregon to immediately hit a three, their eighth of the contest, to take a 53-50 lead, the seventh lead change of the game.
The Bears made it eight lead changes after a second-chance layup by junior center Talia Caldwell followed by a steal and a layup from freshman guard Brittany Boyd gave Cal a 56-53 lead with 11:28 left in the game. The Bears added three more buckets, two by freshman forward Reshanda Gray, to extend the lead to nine, 62-53, with 8:27 remaining. The Ducks stopped Cal's 12-0 run by hitting their ninth three-pointer of the game.
The Bears took their first double-digit lead, 79-68, on Clarendon's fifth three-pointer of the game, with just over two minutes left in the game.
The Bears held on for the victory, improving to 19-7 and 10-4 in the Pac-12. With Stanford's 78-45 victory over Oregon State, the Bears extended their lead in the race for second place to a two-game advantage over the Beavers (17-8, 8-6 Pac-12), who the Bears will face Saturday afternoon in Corvallis.
"Any win on the road in conference is tough," said head coach Lindsay Gottlieb. "I think we got Oregon's best shot today. They were ready. They were excited to play us. I think tonight was showing that we are built for different situations. We had two starters in foul trouble, Boyd and Gray, who played five minutes in the first half. They tried to take away our post game. And I think we showed that we can respond to that. Layshia was heroic, knocking down shots. We shot fifty-percent from three. We got great minutes from Mikayla and [Afure Jemerigbe] in the first half as well as Justine [Hartman] and Gen. In the second half, we were able to do what we do which is be more physical, be stronger inside, but I think this was an example of our versatility tonight."
Layshia Clarendon finished the game with a season-best 27 points, two shy of her career high. She was 10-for-18 shooting, going 5-for-8 from three-point range. She also had five assists.
"Once you make a couple of shots, things start going in," Clarendon said. "They were really low in that zone, so they were giving us the sniper shot. Coach was yelling at me to keep hitting sniper shots. I was ready this time. I made one and then I made a couple and I was just feeling it."
The Bears finished the game shooting 50 percent from three-point range, making 10 of their 20 attempts. Oregon was 12-for-27 from the three-point line. Cal had five players hit at least one three-pointer (Clarendon, Sherbert, Jemerigbe, Brandon, and Lyles).
The Bears, who held a three-rebound advantage at the break, ended up outrebounding the Ducks, 48-32.
The Bears close out the roadtrip on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 2 p.m. in Corvallis, taking on the Oregon State Beavers. The Bears return home next week, playing their final three games of the regular season at home at Haas Pavilion.