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Cal Women's Basketball

Bears Win Cal Classic, 68-45, over Long Beach State

November 30, 2019
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The California Golden Bears dominated Long Beach State (2-5) from start to finish, leading wire to wire in a 68-45 victory. The win earned the Bears the Cal Classic tournament championship.

Jaelyn Brown (eight points) won the Tournament MVP, despite playing little in the fourth quarters of both games. Cailyn Crocker (15 points) and Alaysia Styles (12 points) joined her on the All Tournament Team.

“It’s been a couple years since we’ve been able to win this tournament, so it feels good to get that feeling of winning a championship, even if it is our own Cal Classic,” said Cal head coach Charmin Smith. “Having to play back to back and come out and compete, I think we did a good job and it was a good team effort.”

Jazlen Green contributed 12 points. 

Long Beach State was led by Justina King and Shanaijah Davison, with 13 and 12 points, respectively. Lauren Green had eight rebounds, including five on the offensive glass.

Cal overcame a season-high 22 turnovers by dominating the glass--45 to 23 rebounds--and playing good defense. CJ West had a game-high nine boards.

“I think we had moments that we were really good,” said Smith. “Holding them to seven points in two consecutive quarters--I told [the players] ‘I don’t care who you’re playing against--any Division 1 team, that’s impressive.’ Our defense was phenomenal in the first half. We got a little lax in the second half. It’s just the turnovers, you know. That’s where we were a little sloppy. There are teams that can force you into turnovers--Long Beach is one of them, opponents average 19 against them. But again, I’m more concerned with the unforced turnovers. Those are the ones that we need to eliminate and we’re still working on that.”

Bears are now 5-2.

 

 

 

The Bears opened the game using their speed to their advantage. Jaelyn Brown won the tip and then raced downcourt ahead of everyone. Leilani McIntosh found her for the easy layup. McIntosh then turned a steal into a dish to Sara Anastasieska. Brown then scored again on a fastbreak, and Cal had the early 6-3 lead.

Alayshia Styles showed good anticipation on defense, jumping the passing lane for two steals, as the Cal defense forced Long Beach into nine turnovers in the first six minutes of play.

Cal did not do much better with ball security, committing a flurry of unforced errors on their own. Anastasieska was sent to the bench after three early poor passes.

“At times we have people trying to do too much,” said Smith. “I like to say, ‘Make the easy play, and not force it.’ I think that limits the turnovers.”

But when the Bears held on to the ball, they were extremely efficient, hitting seven of their first 11 attempts (64%). Cailyn Crocker, who was held out in the 2nd half of yesterday’s game as a precaution after a fall, hit two threes, sandwiched around a three-point play by CJ West, and the Bears’ lead stretched to 19-5 at the end of an 11-0 run.

“I was really really nervous that we wouldn’t have her, and really grateful when I heard that she was feeling well enough to go,” said Smith of Crocker’s availability, noting that the Bears needed the point guard’s ball-handling against the defensive pressure of Long Beach State.

“I don’t even think of her as a freshman,” said Styles of Crocker. “She played phenomenal today. She provides a different energy for us that we all need, and it lifts us all up, always.”

Another three, this time by Jazlen Green, and Cal ended the first period up 22-7.

Crocker continued her hot hand, hitting a long jumper as the shot clock wound down on Cal’s first possession. Chen Yue found herself unguarded at the elbow, and the center sank the jumper. Cal’s lead ballooned to 26-7 a minute into the second period.

Long Beach amped up its defense, pressuring ballhandlers and doubling down low, resulting in three quick Cal turnovers. The Beach took advantage, scoring five unanswered points, including a three by Shanaijah Davison. Cal would finish the second quarter with nine giveaways.

Both teams went cold for nearly five minutes, with the only basket coming from Eveline Lutje Schipholt. 

Another three by Green, and a smooth drive down the gut by Brown closed the second for Cal, with the Bears up 33-14.

Long Beach State opened the third with even more aggressive defense, making every Cal pass an adventure. Even when the Bears managed to get a shot, they rushed and missed, and after four minutes, Cal had only one free-throw.

Fortunately for the Bears, Beach did not do much better, putting up four points in the same period.

After a time out, Long Beach State implemented fullcourt pressure. In anticipation, Smith trotted out a lineup that included both her point guards--McIntosh and Crocker--and neutralized the gambit.

Doubling Cal’s post proved a more effective strategy, resulting in multiple heldballs and turnovers.  

With Cal’s inside game stalled, the Bears frosh guards took over. Crocker knocked down her third three of the game, followed by two consecutive bombs by Green. Fellow frosh McIntosh assisted on two of the three treys.

“Jazzy is a scorer,” said Smith of Green. “She’s can really score the basketball. The coolest thing about Jazzy is that she is so coachable. She’s always listening; she’s always trying to improve.”

A jumper by Styles closed the third, and Cal had the 49-22 lead.

Styles continued to look for her offense to start the fourth, with three consecutive buckets to keep The Beach at bay.

“I’ve definitely said, ‘Bird, score!’’ said Smith. “She really wants to step up this year and knows that it’s a completely different role. We see that aggressiveness in her. She shows you that potential in those stretches, and I just want it be even more consistent. But what a jump from last season to this season.”

Two Chen Yue free throws earned Cal the largest lead of the game, 57-33.

The Bears ran out the clock from there, with Styles blocking Long Beach State final attempt, punctuating the Bears strong defensvie effort on the day.

 

 

 

Discussion from...

Bears Win Cal Classic, 68-45, over Long Beach State

1,089 Views | 6 Replies | Last: 6 days ago by HoopDreams
wvitbear
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At the beginning of the season, both frosh shot the three poorly. But they have changed a lot in just a few games. Crocker didn't shoot well in high school so i didn't expect to see the three work now.
pearbear
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Staff
wvitbear said:

At the beginning of the season, both frosh shot the three poorly. But they have changed a lot in just a few games. Crocker didn't shoot well in high school so i didn't expect to see the three work now.

Yeah, Green threw up some airballs when she first came back. But now she's looking comfortable from distance. She's also figuring out (it seems) that she doesn't always need to put her head down and get all the way to the basket.

Crocker is interesting. Nothing she does has really jumped out at you as being exceptional (as of now). But at the same time, no glaring weaknesses either.
GoBears635
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pearbear said:

wvitbear said:

At the beginning of the season, both frosh shot the three poorly. But they have changed a lot in just a few games. Crocker didn't shoot well in high school so i didn't expect to see the three work now.

Yeah, Green threw up some airballs when she first came back. But now she's looking comfortable from distance. She's also figuring out (it seems) that she doesn't always need to put her head down and get all the way to the basket.

Crocker is interesting. Nothing she does has really jumped out at you as being exceptional (as of now). But at the same time, no glaring weaknesses either.
When Jazlen has it figured out, she needs to tell Leilani that not all fast breaks need to end up as contested layups.
pearbear
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GoBears635 said:

pearbear said:

wvitbear said:

At the beginning of the season, both frosh shot the three poorly. But they have changed a lot in just a few games. Crocker didn't shoot well in high school so i didn't expect to see the three work now.

Yeah, Green threw up some airballs when she first came back. But now she's looking comfortable from distance. She's also figuring out (it seems) that she doesn't always need to put her head down and get all the way to the basket.

Crocker is interesting. Nothing she does has really jumped out at you as being exceptional (as of now). But at the same time, no glaring weaknesses either.
When Jazlen has it figured out, she needs to tell Leilani that not all fast breaks need to end up as contested layups.
Tru dat. LOL
HoopDreams
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HoopDreams
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These two games are good learning experiences for our young team, and Coach appears to be maximizing the opportunity
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