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Cal Basketball

Cal Downs Seattle 87-67

November 30, 2017


In the fourth annual School Haas Rock, an event when Cal hosts local elementary and middle school students, the California Golden Bears gave their young fans a lot to scream about.

No. 21 (AP) Cal routed Seattle 87-67. The Bears built a 25-10 advantage after the first quarter and never looked back.

“It’s a fun day at Haas,” said Cal head coach Lindsay Gottlieb. “This is one of my favorite days of the year, because we have the opportunity to impact so many kids. It was an incredible atmosphere.”

“It’s always fun to play in front of a huge audience and to be a role model to young kids,” said junior Kristine Anigwe, who dominated with 25 points and eight rebounds.

Anigwe played only 23 minutes, as the Bears got great production from their bench. CJ West had a breakout game, scoring a career-high 18, and fellow sophomore Jaelyn Brown contributed 11.

The Bears dictated play the whole game.

“These two inside [Anigwe and West] were terrific,” said Gottlieb. “We took care of business today. I liked our energy and our confidence: ‘Hey, whatever you’re going to throw at us, we’re going to us better than you do whatever you’re trying to do.’”

As a team, the Bears connected on 56% of their shots. The Bears had a 58-28 advantage in the paint and a 45-26 edge on the glass.

Seattle was led by Alexis Montgomery’s 26 points.

Cal improved to 4-2 on the season, while Seattle fell to 3-4.

The Bears ran out to an immediate 7-0 lead, powered by two Anigwe baskets and a three by Asha Thomas.

Penina Davidson raced ahead of the crowd, and Thomas found her for a layin, pulling Cal ahead 11-2 and forcing a Seattle time out.

Jaelyn Brown made an immediate impact off the bench. She drove aggressively to the basket, just avoiding the charge and earning a trip to the foul line, splitting her free throws. On the next possession, Brown closed out on her shooter, blocking the shot and grabbing the ball; on the other end, Anigwe converted a three-point play.

Two Brown free-throws gave Cal its first double-digit lead, 17-7, with four and a half minutes to go in the first.

The Bears committed to running on every possession, putting pressure on the Seattle defense. Despite the frantic pace, the Bears also exhibited decisiveness in their shot selection, something that was missing for much of their loss to Missouri.

A good screen by CJ West sprung Anigwe down low, and the well-designed and executed play closed the first quarter, with the Bears up 25-10.

“We have a lot of depth and versatility this year, and Kristine and CJ playing together builds their confidence,” said Gottlieb. “It allows me to put Kristine more on the perimeter defensively and puts the other team in trouble trying to guard the two of them. And we got some good minutes for Jaelyn and Mo.”

Mo Mosley’s putback to open the second period capped Cal’s 19-2 run and stretched the lead to 29-12.

The Bears continued their aggressive defense, fighting through screens and cutting off driving lanes. Cal also mixed up their looks, switching from zone to play-to-player defense and then throwing on their press after made baskets.

“Our players are definitely understanding what they are supposed to do and doing it more confidently,” said Gottlieb of the team’s defense. “Do we make mistakes? We sure do. But I can look at them and say, ‘We’re going to go to this defense now. This is what we’re trying to do. Let’s go to this and let’s try to get stops.’ There’s a little more maturity and understanding. That’s a steady work in progress, and we’re getting better.”

Anigwe continued to feast against the undersized Redhawks, scoring three straight baskets. Her layup with 7:33 left in the quarter gave Cal a 20-point lead, 33-13.

When Anigwe took a breather, Cal’s other post players took over. West hit a lefty drive, and Davidson and Styles crashed the offensive glass.

With a lineup of mostly subs on floor, Cal maintained the big lead, going into halftime up 44-24. Anigwe made 10 of her 12 attempts for 21 points, while Brown contributed seven.

The Redhawks scored a quick nine points to open the third, with Jacinta Beckley and Montgomery taking turns hitting baskets and whittling the Bear lead to 48-35.

Gottlieb called time to settle her team. The Bears, who had only four turnovers in the first half, had two in the opening minutes of the third.

West scored inside, and Thomas hit a three, but Seattle kept pace with a three by Beckley. A free throw by Delaney McCann finally broke the Beckley-Montgomery monopoly for Seattle.

CJ West then took over the game. The sophomore showed off her speed, repeatedly beating everyone down the floor. She scored four consecutive baskets for the Bears.

“That’s stuff that we work on every day, one of our goals as a team, to run fast,” said West. “For us posts to run the floor, and the guards to make those passes.”

“We started off slow in the third, and then CJ came in, scored back to back and ran the floor,” said Anigwe. “I was like, ‘Whoa!’ In practice she does it all the time, so just seeing it in a game, I was just so happy for her. Sometimes she has trouble finishing, but today, she was efficient.”

West finished with seven baskets on eight attempts.

With 2:39 to go, Brown took an elbow in the jaw. A technical was called on Seattle, but Kianna Smith missed both free-throws. Brown would return later in the game.

Mosley’s putback of a Smith miss put Cal ahead 64-39.

Another rim run by West got her two free-throws. West hit both to give Cal the 68-41 bulge after three.

Alaysia Styles used her length to get to the hoop, and Brown finished through contact, as the bench players continued to give the Bears productive minutes. Anigwe showed off her variety, putting in a nice reverse, and the Bears kept their advantage to open the fourth, 74-46.

McKenzi Williams gave Seattle a lift, hitting two threes. She banked in a third, pulling the Redhawks within 82-62.

Montgomery concluded her stellar game with a couple of highlight-play baskets, but the Redhawks simply did not have the firepower to match up with Cal. Sara Anastasieska closed the Cal scoring with a catch-and-shoot three.

“We gave up too many points in the second half, but Seattle U has some kids who can really score,” said Gottlieb. “It’s a good chance for us to look at the tape, get better, and get ready for Saturday.”

The Bears next visit Santa Clara on December 2. The game tips off at 2pm.










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