With the win, the Golden Bears are 12-11 in NCAA Championship play.
In California's last seven NCAA appearance, it has reached at least the second round.
Head Coach Lindsay Gottlieb moves into second place in Cal history with 138 wins. "I would not be here, in this position, without JoAnne Boyle," tweeted Gottlieb. "No amount of wins will ever surpass what she did for me or this program."
The Golden Bears move to 13-0 on the year in non-conference play. California improves to 5-0 in neutral site play this season.
With 6 3-pointers tonight, Asha Thomas moves into second place with 63 made 3-point baskets in Cal history for the season.
Thomas's 18 points marked the 14 th game this season, 10th in the last 11, in which she has scored in double figures.
Thomas also tied her career-high and NCAA Championship program-high with 6 3- pointers. Kristine Anigwe has scored in double figures in all but one game this season and had 15 points tonight.
Senior Courtney Range reflects on the game:
"I'm happy. I'm excited. It's a lot of emotions. We surpassed the first round, and a lot of people didn't think we would get past the first round. A lot of people did not think we'd even get in. But we're here, we did it, and now we're looking forward to Monday against Baylor."
"Everybody wanted to extend their time here. So we knew that we needed to come out with intensity, take care of the ball, make the right read, and then make down the shots. In a sense you play better when your back is against the wall. We know it's one and done, and we don't want to be the team that's done."
"Good for the conference, we're seven and oh. Everybody won and on to the next round!"
When the Tigers came back and tied the game late, Range told her team: "Stay calm, stay composed. Everything will be OK. We are going to win this game at the end of the day. Don't let them rattle us. Just saying the right thing at the right time for the team."
On the performance of the sophomores (Thomas and Anigwe):
"Asha Thomas, coming in clutch, six for nine on threes! That's my girl; I'm gonna ride or die with Teezy. And Kristine Anigwe too. I expect that from Kristine. She's a beast, and that's what I'm expecting everyday."
Freshman CJ West:
"It was nervous there at the end, but we were playing possession by possession, and that was what pulled us along. And buying into the game plan and doing what [Coach] tells us to do. That's where we kind of got a little rocky throughout the season is not buying into it fully: doing some things but then thinking that our way is better. But today we really bought in."
On Cal's trouble with keeping opponents off the offensive glass: "In practice we do drills, and when we don't box out, we run. We don't rebound, we do push ups. That's trying to keep it in our heads constantly that if we do everything right and don't box out, we could still lose. And so, it's a whole process. We get the right rebound at the right time, when the game is tied. But when we're up six, we don't box out. When we're tied, when we're down one or two, then we decide, let's box out. So for us, it's just choosing to box out the whole game instead of just one or two possessions."
"It's like with energy too, for us that's a big thing. If we have it, we're at the top of our game, and if we don't, we're down. Every single game we've played--we have it in the beginning, don't have it one quarter, then we have it one more quarter but it's too late. So what we've learned towards the end of our season, and even in the Pac-12 Tournament, is we have to keep that. Our games in the Pac-12 Tournament, we had it for maybe 30, 35 minutes, but that's not enough. And today, we had it up until halftime, and then we let up a little bit. So I think we know, it's just the whole thing about doing and acting on it."
On her growth this season: "Coming in, I kind of knew what to expect, but not really. It's just another level. I just started working out on my own a lot, with the conditioning coach, with Charmin. Pushing myself really hard. Then I noticed that when I got in the game, everything was paying off, the things that I was doing. I was a lot stronger and more confident."