“I’m disappointed in the outcome, I’m disappointed in our
team, but I would say absolute credit and hats off to Arizona State,” said Cal
head coach Lindsay Gottlieb. “If Charli
Turner Thorne is not in the conversation for national coach of the year right
now, then I don’t know who should be.
They have a lot of players who may not have been recruited by every team
in the country, but they can play with and beat just about any team in the country
because of the way they play. I think
that they are doing a tremendous job.
Charlie told me before the game that they are playing with a lot of
confidence and I think that showed tonight.
And they were the better team tonight.”
Gottlieb then went on to call out her team: “I think that when you are playing a team
that is that tough, I don’t think that we had the requisite mental toughness. I
don’t think that we had the requisite resolve. I think that we made some plays,
we had our opportunities, we missed some close looks that we normally make, at
a crucial time. But overall to beat a
team like that you have to be mentally and physically locked in for forty
minutes, and we were mentally and physically locked in for some of the time,
not all of the time. I think that there
is a lot of conference left to really get back to doing the things that are
really going to allow us to win basketball games every day and then let our
talent shine versus trying to rely on our talent. That is what our focus is going to be now for
quite a while. “
Promise Amukamara scored 20 and Quinn Dornstauder
contributed 13 points. Kelsey Moos had 10 point and nine rebounds as grabbed
eight rebounds as the Sun Devils outworked Cal on the glass 34-23.
For the Bears, Reshanda Gray had 17 points, but her
effectively was hampered by foul trouble. She played 20 minutes and had only
“I take full responsibility,” said Gray. “It has to kick in
and I have to stop committing stupid fouls. My team definitely needs me on the
floor. So for me, I have to play smarter and be smarter while I’m on the
Gabby Green scored 13 for Cal on the strength of a three of
six performance from beyond the arc. However, the rest of the Bears were 0 for
8 from three, while ASU hit 7 of 13 from distance.
The game also marked the return of Cal forward Courtney
Range; Range had been out since early December with a knee injury. Range scored one basket and grabbed four
boards in 18 minutes of action.
In a back and forth first half, Cal played with speed and
intensity but ASU managed to find the hot players to stay one step ahead.
Elisha Davis, who was Brittany Boyd’s teammate at Berkeley
High, hit a jumper in the lane with the shot clock winding down to open the
scoring. Boyd responded with her own pull-up.
Rehanda Gray’s three-point play gave Cal its first lead, but
ASU quickly closed to within one, 7-6.
The Bears were determined to push the ball at every
opportunity, preventing ASU from setting up their vaunted defense. The strategy
paid off, as Cal surged ahead with a 7-0 run. Mercedes Jefflo hit her first
bucket of the game, driving along the baseline. Gabby Green splashed in a
three. Range scored inside, extending Cal’s lead to 14-6.
Promise Amukamara had her own 7-0 run, and suddenly the Sun
Devils were back within 14-13.
Gottlieb decided to let her team play on, and the Bears
responded, attacking inside and getting baskets from Penina Davidson and Gray.
After an ASU time-out, the Sun Devils missed a three, and
Gabby Green hit hers from the corner, 21-13.
Then it was Quinn Dornstauder’s turn to take over the game.
The bench player started off hitting two free throws, in the process sending
Reshanda Gray to the bench with her second foul, with 9:52 left before the
Cal had no one to match up with Dornstauder, and she
proceeded to score at will, notching 11 points in a row and pulling ASU ahead
Elisha Davis broke Dornstauder’s streak with a free-throw,
and Mikayla Cowling responded, breaking into the scoring column with a strong
drive, tying the game at 27.
Promise Amukamara hit a jumper to edge ASU ahead, 29-27.
Cal’s defense forced three consecutive turnovers, including
a shot-clock violation, but the Bears could not take advantage on the other
end, managing only a Boyd free-throw in nearly four minutes.
Amukamara scored off the inbound play to give ASU the 31-28
For the half, Amukamara and Dornstauder each had 11.
Gray started the second half much like the first, converting
a three-point play, tying the game at 31. Cal pushed the ball, with Boyd
finding a trailing Cowling, and the Bears had the lead, 33-31.
Katie Hempen, who was also saddled with two fouls in the
first stanza, hit a corner three to regain the lead for ASU, one the Sun Devils
would never relinquish.
Gray was whistled for her third foul two minutes into the
half, and without her, the Bears again seemed to lose focus, missing easy
Kelsey Moos hit a lay-up and a three and ASU again was
ahead, 39-37. Elisha Davis extended the lead with two free-throws.
Cal missed three attempts from distance, and Gottlieb
re-inserted Gray into the game.
Amukamara again and again found an open lane, and Cal was
down 45-37 with just over 13 minutes to play, looking lost on offense.
Gabby Green bailed out the Bears with a corner three, but
Moos matched her with a second-chance triple, as ASU continued to dominate Cal
on the glass.
With 11:20 to play, on another ASU miss, Cal failed to box
out, and Amukamara skied high for another rebound. To make matters worse, Gray
committed her fourth foul on the play.
Without Gray inside, the Bears resorted to their individual
athleticism, with Cowling and Boyd scoring inside to pull within a basket,
48-46, with 10 minutes to go.
After an ASU time-out, ASU again pulled away, this time from
distance. Amukamara calmly sank a three, and Dornstauder hit inside. Peace
Amukamara banked in a three, and Hempen followed with another, and ASU had the
59-49 lead with 7:12 to play.
Cal repeatedly went to Gray inside, and she responded with
five points. But that would not be enough, as ASU continued to score on the
other end. Promise Amakumara put an exclamation point to her stellar evening,
hitting a drive with Boyd glued to her side, and ASU turned a close game into a
With the loss, Cal falls to 11-5 (3-2 in the Pac-12), while
ASU is 16-1 (5-0).
“This conference is too good. You can’t let Promise go left
when she’s a lefty. Can’t let [Moos] get an open look from the outside when we
know she has three point range this year. Can’t not stay locked in all the
time. This team is the perfect example
of punishing you with effort and intensity if you’re not where you’re
supposed to be or do what you’re supposed to do. It’s a lesson for us. We have
incredible talent and athleticism, but
we need to add to that, and be the team that is playing the toughest and the
hardest and with attention to detail.”