February 19, 2015

Cardinal surges past the Bears

In an exciting game of scoring spurts and droughts, the Cardinal bottled up the Bears at the end and won 59-47.

The Cardinal had the first scoring spurt and led 11-2 after 6½ minutes. Lili accounted for seven of those points. She played the entire game except for one 25-second sub-out, and went on to score 18 points. She added seven rebounds and two assists.

The Bears surged back on a 28-6 run, during which the Cardinal was held scoreless for five minutes. With three minutes left in the half, the Bears led 30-17. It was beginning to look like a repeat of the Arizona games.

Then Brittany subbed in and essentially turned the game around. I don't know what she's done during practice to earn a place in the rotation, but she certainly earned her place tonight!

She broke the Cardinal's scoring draught with a layup. She sank another layup and two free throws by the end of the first half. The Bears were still ahead 32-23, but the momentum had changed.

Brittany was in the starting lineup for the second half. She played a total of 22 minutes, scored nine points, grabbed six rebounds (including three O-boards) and had a block and a steal.

The Cardinal ramped up their defense after the break. They tied the score at 44-44 with 11½ minutes left to play. They held the Bears scoreless for eight minutes, during which the Bears missed nine shots, followed by six Cardinal rebounds and two Bear turnovers.

The Cardinal defense held the Bears to 11% scoring in the second half – to 27% for the game. Reshanda Gray, their leading scorer and rebounder, made just one of four field goal attempts and grabbed only nine rebounds. The Cardinal out-rebounded the Bears 43-27 with a balanced effort from Kaylee (8), Lili (7), Bonnie, Bird and Brittany (6 apiece), Amber (5), and Taylor (2).

Amber ramped up her offense in the second half, during which she scored 15 points on 70% shooting. She led all scorers with a total of 19 for the game.

This was the only Pac-12 game today. The Cardinal is now in sole possession of second place in the conference standings, at least until Friday, when ASU plays UCLA in Pauley Pavilion.

Here are game reports and commentary:

The box score and play-by-play,

The Stanford press conference audio, with Tara, Lili and Brittany,

The Cal press conference video, with Coach Gottlieb, Reshanda Gray and Brittany Boyd,

A video interview of Brittany,

A gallery of photos from the Mercury News – including many of Brittany,

A gallery of photos by Norbert von der Groeben (Golden Bear Sports).

The Golden Bear Sports photos are, of course, mostly of Cal players. Here are a few that show the Cardinal's fine defense:

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