Cal guard Brittany Boyd dishes in lane -Bear Insider
HAAS PAVILLION/BERKELEY, CA -Fresh off their highly-impressive 89-41 pounding of St. Mary's College, the 12th-ranked Cal women faced Cal Poly Monday night, dominating the Mustangs 87-61 in Berkeley.
The Mustangs came in with a 2-1 record after Saturday's 19-point victory over the University of San Diego Saturday as well as an 11-point season-opening victory over Oregon State, but were no match for the Bears during most of Monday night's contest.
"We were excited to play at home and get another win," said Cal head coach Lindsay Gottlieb. "I thought it was a complete effort from the start.
"I thought it was a collective team effort. The fact that we had 19 assists and not a whole lot of turnovers...Cal Poly's a really good team, with wins over Oregon State and San Diego.
"We knew they'd be good and quick and that we'd need to play a full 40 minutes and I thought we did that tonight."
The Bears used stifling defense and great range to jump out to a quick 17-10 lead at the 15:45 mark on a trio of trey's, with two from Layshia Clarendon (9 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists on the night) and a third from Afure Jemerigbe along with a bucket and free throw from center Talia Caldwell, who scored an efficient 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting along with 9 rebounds on the night.
The Bears quickly pushed their lead to 29-12 at the 11:51 mark on a fast break bucket by forward Justine Hartman (4 points, 3 rebounds in 15 minutes) on an outlet by Clarendon.
Cal continued to extend their lead to 42-17 on a Brandon bucket until Cal Poly center Molly Schlemer hit a shot under the basket, ending a 9-0 Can run and cutting a 25-point Cal lead by a pair.
The Mustangs used the points to start a 16-6 run of their own to bring it within 15 at the half and make the game more competitive at that point, with the Bears leading 48-33.
"I just reminded the team that Cal Poly's an excellent team and that they play hard and we had to turn it up.
"I thought Poly did a great job passing through our press," said Gottlieb. "In our presses, we really needed to get them to dribble and get some traps going, but as a credit to them, they did a nice job with the ball."
The Mustangs continued to whittle the lead down to 13 early in the 2nd half when point guard Brittany Boyd crashed to the floor diving for a loose ball, seemingly injuring her hip.
"I just kind of lost my breath there," said Boyd, who finished with 10 points and 7 assists on the night. "I fell right on my stomach and on my hip. I couldn't breathe and I was just trying to catch my breath. It wasn't that serious where I'd need to come out of the game so I just played through it. Sometimes you have to play through things and just keep on going.
Her pain was noticable as she limped around the court with a grimmace until she grabbed a rebound and drove the lane aggressively for the bucket. Four more point in the next two minutes and the feisty point guard was clearly back in business as the Bears quickly extended their lead to 20 again then later to a high of 28 before the final 26-point margin in the end.
Soph forward Reshanda Gray dominated, using her size and quickness to lead the Bears with 22 points and 6 rebounds on the night.
"It felt pretty good but I was just doing my job," said Gray. "Just being a team player and being that spark off the bench and pick up the defense."
Forward Gennifer Brsndon was also effective, totalling 18 points and 11 rebounds in the Bears' big win.
The Bears are off until Friday until they host Eastern Washington at 1:00 in the first game of the Cal Classic.
Also rounding out the field are Georgetown and Cal State Fullerton.
To view postgame comments from Gottlieb, Boyd and Gray, use the embedded viewer below: