Sunday, July 21st, 2019

Cal snaps losing streak, gets revenge on Arizona with 75-56 win

Published on February 14, 2016

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BERKELEY, Calif. – California (12-13, 3-11 Pac-12) snapped a four-game losing streak with a 75-56 victory over Arizona (11-15, 2-12) Sunday afternoon at Haas Pavilion.

With starting freshman center Kristine Anigwe back on the court after missing Friday’s game, a loss to No. 9 Arizona, the Bears led after every quarter and outscored the Wildcats 23-11 in the last period.

“Winning is fun, but it is more how we won,” said Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb about her team’s dominant performance. The victory was only the third Pac-12 win for the Bears this season, a record that can be in many ways attributed to the youth of a team with no seniors and just two juniors along with the absence of injured 6-8 freshman center Chen Yue (broken foot).

However, the team has continued to grow over the past several months and Gottlieb said some of that growth “was evident today.”

She referenced the team’s 57-52 loss at Arizona in Tucson on Jan. 4 and the need for Cal to build separation between opponents to earn decisive victories.

Every Cal player scored and the Bears held Arizona to just six free throw shots. Keeping the Wildcats from the charity stripe and out of the paint was a point of emphasis in Cal’s game plan.

“We wanted to force them to shoot contested jumpers and we wanted to rebound. It was definitely a concerted effort to make them play on the perimeter. I felt our players were committed to that.”

Anigwe, who led her team with 24 points, played through foul trouble successfully. She was a perfect 8-of-8 from field and 8-of-11 from the free throw line. Overall, she shoots 74.7 percent from the line.

“I just try to calm down when I get to the free throw line,” said Anigwe, “because I know I’ve had so many repetitions and I also know it’s an important part of the game and I just really try to focus when I get to the free throw line.”

She also scored the first nine points of the third quarter and the first six of the fourth to put the game out of reach for the Wildcats.

“She’s one of the best scorers in the country and there’s no doubt about that,” said Gottlieb about Anigwe’s return and performance. “I think in some ways it gives us confidence that when she’s in foul trouble and sitting down, we’ve got to find a way that a team is never built around one person. But moreso I thought there was a great energy vibe today. I said the other day, Kristine’s an incredible person, and she’s having an unreal freshman year so obviously we always want her out there. But I thought the spirit and the energy of the whole team today fed off of that and that’s why it was such a good team win.”

Sophomore forward Mikayla Cowling added 13 points plus seven rebounds. Sophomore guard Gabby Green had a great outing with 11 points, eight assists and six steals. Gottlieb said it was Green’s best-ever all-around game.

“I feel like we grew a lot because we didn’t play our ‘Cal basketball’ out in Arizona,” said Green about getting even with the Wildcats, “and I know being back here at Haas it felt like we were ourselves again and playing like ourselves again and how we’ve been practicing. I thought we prepared way better for this game than any other game. I think this game was a showcase of how we can play every game.”

Junior guard Malena Washington led Arizona with 13 points and junior forward LaBrittney Jones added 12.

When the game was tied 17-17 at 7:59 in the second quarter, Washington singlehandedly sent her team on an 8-2 run to give them their largest lead of the game, 25-19. However, Cal answered with a 12-3 run to end the half, leading 31-28.

Arizona returns home to host Washington and Washington State next weekend. Cal goes on the road to face Utah and Colorado. The Wildcats lost their road games at the Washington schools in early January.

The Bears hope to avenge a home loss to the Utes on Friday and complete a season sweep of Colorado on Sunday.

Notes

  • Anigwe, a seven-time Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honoree, has scored in double figures in 23 games this season and netted 20 or more in 11 contests.
  • Cal’s game on Sunday, Feb. 21 at Colorado is their last home contest of the season.
  • Cal now has a 32-30 all-time series advantage over Arizona.
  • Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb is now 7-1 over the Wildcats.

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This post is part of the following threads: 2015-16 College Season, 2015-16 Pac-12 – ongoing stories on this site. View the thread timelines for more context on this post.


 

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