The final score of 76-54 accurately reflected Cal’s dominance over Nevada Tuesday night, as the Bears moved to 2-0 with relative ease. Nevada, now 1-1, did play hard but was simply no match for the size, speed and strength of the Bears.
Reshanda Gray topped Cal with 17 points (on eight of 12 shooting), and Brittany Boyd and Mikayla Cowling each added 13 – with Cowling showing off her three-point range for the second straight game, making three of four on the night.
T Moe (she used to be Terilyn when she played at Terra Nova in Pacifica) led Nevada with 22 points and 6-8 Mimi Mungedi had 11 to go along with eight rebounds, but the Wolfpack shot just 31.6 percent (one of 11 from beyond the arc) and got outrebounded by the Bears by eight.
Courtney Range led those Cal rebounders with nine, but everyone played and everyone scored so the statistical bounty was evenly spread. Still, coach Lindsay Gottlieb managed to find some things to nitpick about and reminded the assembled media after the game that her expectations were very high for this team. “I don’t want to slow us down,” she said, “but we’ve got to get cleaner” (referring to the 16 turnovers).
Cowling, though, was all smiles after another solid outing. “In high school, I would say ‘Oh, I’m going to Cal,” she said, “but actually being here feels great.”
And it felt great from the start, as Cal took over early and left Nevada with little to get excited about. The Wolfpack highlight? With the shot clock running down, Nyasha LeSure launched a desperation three-pointer that tied the score – at five, with 17:58 left in the first half. After that, it was pretty much all downhill.
Moe did most of the heavy lifting for Nevada, finishing with 10 points in the first 20 minutes, but after a Gabby Green 12-footer with 17:33 left, the Bears never trailed. The lead was 15-7 at one point, but Nevada battled back to 21-17 – then a 12-2 Cal run pretty much eliminated the suspense.
Nonetheless, there was plenty for Cal fans to enjoy as the Bears showed off their passing skills on more than one occasion. The highlight was a long pass to Cowling, who made a touch pass to cutting Range, followed with a deft feed to Gray under the basket.
The second half was less thrilling, as the Bears pretty much just played out the string, but with everyone getting on the scoreboard, the flight to Hawaii for this weekend’s games against Hawaii and Missouri should be an enjoyable one.
To view postgame video with head coach Lindsay Gottlieb and wing Mikayla Cowling, use the embedded viewer below: