Cal (8-3) got off several attempts in the paint in the final seconds but the ball rolled in and off the rim on multiple occasions as time expired and the Buckeyes (10-0) escaped with the two-point victory to remain undefeated.
The Bears' three losses to ranked teams this season have come by a combined six points (73-70 to No. 16 Rutgers and 61-60 to No. 24 Texas).
Sophomore forward Gennifer Brandon was dominant for the Bears with 24 points and 24 rebounds - both career-highs and the latter was a Haas Pavilion record.
Cal, ranked third in the nation in rebounding, controlled the glass throughout today's contest with a 44-28 advantage on the boards. Brandon nearly out-rebounded the Buckeyes herself in the contest.
Talia Caldwell (13), Afure Jemerigbe (11) and Layshia Clarendon (10) were also in double figures for the Bears today.
Senior guard Samantha Prahalis led Ohio State with 20 points, six rebounds and six assists on the afternoon.
Cal is back in action on Tuesday, Dec. 20 as the Bears host Dartmouth at 7 p.m. right here at Haas Pavilion.