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Cal Women's Basketball

Bears Dominate Spartans in 74-51 Win

November 24, 2023
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HAAS PAVILION - The Bears used balanced scoring and stifling defense to secure a 74-51 victory over San Jose State in the opening game of the Raising the Bar tournament in Berkeley.

Balanced scoring and forced turnovers were the key to the game with the Bears not scoring with particularly strong efficiency, shooting just 38% from the floor and 30% from three. But with seven players with at least 7 points and 28 forced turnovers with only 13 themselves, the Bears were able to steadily build a lead through the first three quarters and coast home with the win while giving 10 players time on the court, with nine in double-digit minutes.

“I thought it was a good team effort,” head coach Charmin Smith said after the game. “We wanted to limit our minutes anticipating this championship matchup tomorrow. I wanted to have fresh legs for our starters. 

“Credit to our bench. I think we had 30 bench points. I’m really proud of what Ila (Lane) was able to do and Mia and just the whole bench allowing us to sit Leilani. When has that ever happened?”

The Bears were back at home after a successful road trip where they swept SEC opponent Auburn as well as Florida A&M. San Jose State came into the game 3-2 and has been one of the better defensive teams this young season but the Bears scorched the nets early to get off to a 24-11 first quarter lead. A rejuvenated Michelle Onyiah paced the Bears early with 9 first-quarter points without committing a foul - a very positive sign for the often foul-plagued but highly-talented center. She finished the half with 13 points on a stellar 6-for-7 from the floor as well as no fouls in 12 minutes on the floor. It would end up being the final scoring tally for the senior after going scoreless in the second half with reduced minutes.

Frosh guard Lulu Laditan-Twidale gave the Bears a boost from the perimeter, smoothly stroking a pair of early treys along with her pesky defense. 6’1 guard McKayla Williams was a terror on the boards, with 7 first-half rebounds to go along with 5 points as the Bears got off to an impressive 39-20 lead at the break.

Coupled with the final minutes of the first half, the Bears found themselves in a 6-minute scoreless stretch when Kemery Martin finally hit a runner 3:40 into the third quarter but continued strong defense protected the Bears’ lead as the Spartans continued to struggle to find a solution to the smothering Cal D. Despite their shooting struggles from the floor, the Bears extended their lead to  25 to close out the quarter, 59-34.

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The Spartans finally began to find a bit of a rhythm on the offensive end in the fourth quarter as the Bears rested point guard Leilani McIntosh, Onyiah and Williams much of the final stanza but the Bears continued to keep their southbay neighbors at bay with the large lead they’d built up.

The game was a bit of a breakthrough for center Ila Lane who scored 9 points and grabbed 4 boards in 16 minutes. Latidan-Twidale also impressed with 12 points - all from 3-point range. Williams led the Bears with 12 rebounds in the win, often filling in at the point for McIntosh, who played just 22 minutes in the win.

The Bears will face Texas Texas A&M, 84-32 winners over Winthrop in the other opener tomorrow at 2:30 in Haas Pavilion.

Bears Dominate Spartans in 74-51 Win

2,706 Views | 9 Replies | Last: 3 mo ago by CalWSportsFan
smh
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thanks jim. wondering where the interview was held, with such a pleasant background poster?
tnx in adv
signed, out of town bear
MoragaBear
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Staff
smh said:

thanks jim. wondering where the interview was held, with such a pleasant background poster?
tnx in adv
signed, out of town bear

Yeah I agree on the background. It was in the hall before going downstairs to the locker room.
SFCALBear72
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Great interview!! And thanks for assuring Charmin that BI is doing quite a bit to promote this team.


fyi. It's Texas A&M not Texas Tech.
MoragaBear
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SFCALBear72 said:

Great interview!! And thanks for assuring Charmin that BI is doing quite a bit to promote this team.


fyi. It's Texas A&M not Texas Tech.

Yeah, I thought one and typed the other many times over the years.
wvitbear
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Krimili wasn't even on the bench. She travelled to Auburn. What happened to her?
SFCALBear72
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MoragaBear said:

SFCALBear72 said:

Great interview!! And thanks for assuring Charmin that BI is doing quite a bit to promote this team.


fyi. It's Texas A&M not Texas Tech.

Yeah, I thought one and typed the other many times over the years.
All good.
wifeisafurd
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game won on turnovers and huge differential in offensive boards. Hopefully this lasts through conference.
CoffeeBear
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Additionally, there was a new in house DJ who played a variety of music and successfully controlled the volume. It was a pleasant surprise especially with the absence of the Straw Hat Band.
CalWSportsFan
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Indeed. I very much enjoyed the music selection today. :-)
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