Cal overcomes slow start for 73-62 win against Boston University

Cal reduces turnovers, beats Boston University

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BERKELEY, Calif. – California (6-2) overcame an anemic start to defeat Patriot League-member Boston University (3-4) Saturday afternoon at Haas Pavilion, 73-62. The contest marked the first-ever meeting between the teams.

Cal had some “stretches where it was a little dicey” according to Golden Bears head coach Charmin Smith.

“I think, you know, Marissa has been a part of I don’t know how many national championships at UConn, and she’s instilled a championship type of fight and determination in her team. And I think was a really tough challenge for us today and I’m glad that we were able to come out on top.”

Smith was referring to second-year BU coach Marisa Moseley who arrived at her alma mater after nine seasons coaching at Connecticut as an assistant with the Huskies and winning five national titles in that stretch.

A slow start for both teams made for a sluggish first quarter with only four points scored each in the first five minutes of the contest. Cal had a slim 11-8 lead after the first quarter and shot just 26% (5-19) compared to BU’s 27% (3-11).

Cal ramped up its offensive production in the second quarter to outscore the Terriers 24-14 with a balanced effort. By halftime, eight players were in the scoring column for the Bears lead by senior center CJ West and freshman guard Jazlen Green. At the break, Cal led 35-22.

The third quarter was a different animal as Boston University turned up their offense with Maggie Pina starting the period off with a three-pointer. After a 16-7 run, the Terriers were within four points of the Bears. Overall, they outscored Cal 18-14 in the third quarter, but the Bears still had the advantage, 49-40, heading into the final period.

BU continued to fight in the fourth quarter but the pace of their offense for an effective rally was not good enough for them to overcome the Bears.

Four players finished in double figures for Cal: Junior forward Alaysia Styles (11 points, 10 rebounds), senior guard/forward Jaelyn Brown (11 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists), West (10 points, 9 rebounds), and Green (10 points).

“It’s been feeling really good this year that we’re not reliant on just one player,” Smith said about the balanced scoring. “We have a lot of weapons. We really do…everyone we put in the game has the ability to put the ball in the basket and I think it makes us really hard to guard because you don’t know where it’s coming from.”

Freshman guard Sydney Johnson led BU with 19 points and junior guard Katie Nelson contributed 14 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists.

With the win, Smith was glad that her team saw a huge improvement in limiting turnovers. The Bears came into the contest averaging 17.0 turnovers per game. Against BU, they committed just seven.

“The one thing that I would say that’s a huge difference is that we only had seven turnovers and we’ve been in the twenties, it’s been it’s been rough for us taking care of the ball,” Smith said.

BU came into the game after a road loss at UC Davis, the first of a two-game of a West Coast road trip for the Terriers.

Cal returns to Haas Dec. 14 to host another Bay area team, Santa Clara. Boston University returns to the East Coast to play UMass at home Dec. 11.

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