Cal survives a Washington State rally, Brittany Boyd earns program assist record

BERKELEY, Calif. – After a dominant twenty minutes, Cal (16-5, 8-2 Pac-12) barely survived a second half rally by Washington State (13-8, 4-6 Pac-12) Monday evening but came out on top, 57-54 led by freshman Mikayla Cowling’s 15 points and five rebounds. In the process of overcoming the Cougars, senior Brittany Boyd became Cal’s all-time assists leader after registering six dishes. She now has 671 career assists, passing Karen Smith’s previous top mark of 667 assists set from 1981-84.

“I’m happy. I’m blessed to be in this situation I’m in,” said Boyd about the accomplishment. “I’m very humbled by it. I know that Cal has had wonderful guards come through this program…but most of the credit goes to my teammates for finishing baskets because without them making the basket I wouldn’t have an assist.”

The Bears almost let the Cougars earn a road win in Berkeley after junior guard Lia Galdeira lit up the second half with 18 points to add to her game total of 29 plus five rebounds. Cal was unstoppable in the first half, running ahead, 23-10, by 8:08. The Bears kept their double digit advantage until the end of the half and led 31-19 at the break.

Washington State came out punching in the second half, narrowing the lead to four with a balanced scoring effort before Cal began to retaliate. However, Galdeira’s offensive onslaught continued and the score was tied 52 all with 5:46 minutes left in regulation. A layup from Dawnyelle Awa gave the Cougars the lead before Cowling tied it up again with a jumper.

The Cougars had a few chances to take the lead within the last two minutes but a few unlucky shot attempts from Galdeira and senior Tia Presley plus Cal’s defense kept the Washington State from taking over the game. Free throws from Boyd and Courtney Range gave Cal its three-point margin of victory.

“At the end of the day to be a really good team and to have any aspirations of championships or deeps runs you have to be able to win games ugly, and I think we did that today,” said Cal head coach Lindsay Gottlieb about the win. She praised her team’s cohesion down the stretch: “Our collective determination was really good. We got stops when we needed it.”

Gottlieb also commended the efforts of first-year starter Cowling commenting that the guard/forward “made huge plays.”

Cal travels to Arizona for a pair of road games against Arizona and No. 10 Arizona State. Cal faces the Wildcats on Friday, Feb. 6, before heading to Tempe to take on the Sun Devils on Sunday, Feb. 8, for an ESPNU contest. Sunday’s game will be Cal’s second this season against a top 10 team.

Washington State returns home to host the University of Oregon Friday and Oregon State University on Sunday. Both games will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.

Vinkmag ad

Read Previous

Hoopfeed Daily Twitter Digest for 02-01-2015

Read Next

Hoopfeed Daily Twitter Digest for 02-02-2015