Oregon has big second half to hold off Cal for 105-82 win in Berkeley; Kristine Anigwe sets Bears scoring record

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BERKELEY, Calif. – With a large contingent of fans in the stands cheering them at an away game, No. 3 Oregon (22-1, 11-0 Pac-12) held off intermittent Cal runs Friday night to come away with a 105-82 victory over the Golden Bears at Haas Pavilion. Dallas Wings head coach Brian Agler attended the matchup as well.

While Cal (14-8, 5-6) had a reason to celebrate early in the game as senior forward/center Kristine Anigwe became the program’s all-time leading scorer after a free throw at 6:38 in the first period, Oregon’s offensive onslaught tempered the Bears’ jubilation.

“I was upset because we only had scored one point at that time,” Anigwe said about the moment when she entered Cal’s record books.

The Ducks jumped out to a 12-0 lead and led for the entire quarter spurred on by junior guard Sabrina Ionescu. The nation’s record-holder for triple-doubles went into the second quarter with 13 points under her belt that included 5-of-5 from the free throw line with her team ahead 26-17.

Cal had its best stretch in the second quarter when they fought back fiercely with a flurry of three-point shots from senior guard Asha Thomas, grad transfer guard Receé Caldwell and junior guard Kianna Smith. The trey from Smith a 5:12 gave the Bears their first lead of the game, 32-30. It was a back and forth contest for about a minute before Oregon stymied the momentum of their opponent to close out the half with a run of their own. At the break, Oregon led 44-36.

After falling behind by as much as 12 early in the third quarter, Cal mounted a short 7-1 run to get within six of Oregon at 6:14. However, Oregon responded with a 16-5 run to close out the period and headed into the fourth quarter leading 71-54.

The Ducks were in full control in the last ten minutes, adding to their advantage to earn a 20-point lead within the first two minutes and outscored the Bears 34-28 over the fourth period.

Overall, Oregon shot 60 percent from the field compared to Cal’s 45 percent and earned a whopping 46 points in the paint while Cal had only 24.

The Ducks were also more successful at the free throw line, making 15-of-17 shots (88 percent) while the Bears had less opportunities and made 7-of-9 (78 percent).

Sabally led all scorers with 31 points plus nine rebounds. Ionescu added 27 points along with five rebounds and four assists. Senior guard Maite Cazorla scored 17 points and dished out nine assists while redshirt sophomore forward Erin Boley added 11 points.

Anigwe paced Cal with 23 points and 18 rebounds for her 23rd consecutive double-double, the most in the nation. She is just three rebounds away from breaking the program record for career rebounds.

Caldwell, who shot 54 percent from beyond the arc, finished with 22 points and seven assists. Sophomore guard Kianna Smith was also in double digits for Cal with 20 points.

Bears head coach Lindsay Gottlieb praised Oregon while summarizing what went wrong for her team.

“We had a terrific team come in here,” she said. They are a legitimate national title contender. I think, save for the first three or four minutes where we just kind of took a few punches, I thought we competed from there.”

While Oregon head coach Kelly Graves acknowledged that his team was dominant for most of the game, he also admitted that it was not an easy win.

“We played about as well as we can play offensively…but Cal was here to play tonight, they pushed us.”

Oregon heads across the Bay to face Stanford on Sunday while Cal hosts Oregon State on the same day.


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