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Cal Women's Basketball

Bears Pull Away Late for a 66-57 Win Over Oregon

January 21, 2024
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HAAS PAVILION - It took a while to get going but the Bears overtook a game Oregon squad late and pulled away for a satisfying 66-57 win over the Ducks to close out their homestand with a victory in Berkeley. The win halted a 3-game skid for the Bears after dropping road games to strong Utah and Colorado squads and Oregon State on Friday.

“I’m really happy that we came away with the win,” Cal head coach Charmin Smith said after the game. “Every game in this conference is extremely challenging and you have to be resilient and you have to stick together and fight through and I thought this was a great team win. I loved our persistence. Io (guard Ionanna Krimili) knocked down some good shots and we got some big stops when we needed to. It was a good win.”

Early in the game, Cal point guard Leilani McIntosh continued her march up the Cal record book, moving into seventh place on the Bears’ all-time steals list much as she had all season in assists all-time leader board, also moving up to fourth on the all-time list into fourth. But despite the milestone achievement, the senior point guard struggled offensively in the early going, much as the team did, going scoreless in the first half, with the team overall shooting just 25% from the floor.

“I think something that the staff’s been telling me is we all just need to stay the course,” McIntosh said after the game. “I can’t just put my head down about shots that aren’t going in. I felt like I took good shots and it was just a matter of time before they started falling.”

Senior guard Ioanna Krimili was the exception, keeping the Bears from falling too much behind, hitting four 3’s and leading all scorers with 14 at the break. The Bears’ tenacity on the boards also kept things competitive, racking up an impressive 28 boards to Oregon’s 17 as well as a stellar 16 boards on the offensive end as the Ducks took a 33-31 lead into the locker room.

The Bears continued to struggle in the third quarter. After briefly tying the game at 37 on a Krimili layup with 6:08 left in the quarter, the Ducks went on a 7-0 run capped by a Chance Gray 3 to go up 44-37. But the Bears weren’t ready to fold, going on a 10-2 run of their own, taking their first brief lead of the game at 47-46 late in the third quarter on a Marta Suarez layup. Center Michelle Onyiah scored her first points of the game on a layup to start the run.

After missing her first four shots, McIntosh finally got on the board with a 3, giving the Bears their biggest lead of the game at 54-50 with 7:21 left in the game. Moments later, Krimili extended the lead to 6 with a jumper. After Oregon scored the next 4, McIntosh again found nothing but net from the corner to extend the Bears’ lead again to 5 with 3:56 left in the game.

After a Sophia Bell 3 and an Onyiah layup on a pretty Suarez wraparound pass to put Cal up 61-57, the game became a defensive struggle, with both teams failing to scoring till a Krimili free throw with 52 seconds remaining gave the Bears a 5 point lead. With the Ducks forced to foul while missing from the charity stripe on their end, the Bears hung on in the end, pulling away for the 66-57 win.

“We had to have it,” Smith said of the win. “And I’m glad we responded. It wasn’t easy. Oregon did some really good things... they’re just really big and talented but we just would not be denied. We knew we had to win this game.

The Bears were led by Krimili with 24 points and 5 rebounds by Krimili along with 16 points and 10 rebounds by Suarez. Oregon was paced by center Phillipina Kyei with 17 points and 14 rebounds in the loss. And I’m really proud of our response to a really heartbreaking loss on Friday.”

Cal moved to 13-6 on the season and 3-4 in conference play. 

Bears Pull Away Late for a 66-57 Win Over Oregon

1,922 Views | 9 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by HoopDreams
MoragaBear
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Staff
Decent crowd and great energy in the comeback win. It was one they really needed to have and they got it.
wvitbear
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My Apple watch we3nt off during our rally saying it was over 90 decibels. We are still next to the last in attendance in the Pac 12. Our Folsom recruit was at the game with her mother.
blungld
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What do you think NCAA hopes look like?

"The Bear will not quilt, the Bear will not dye!"
BearBint
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blungld said:

What do you think NCAA hopes look like?
Charlie Creme recently had Cal in the last four out:

https://www.espn.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/30423107/ncaa-women-bracketology-2024-women-college-basketball-projections

But that was Friday morning, before the Oregon games. And it's still a little early; he was reckoning Cal as a #11 seed a week or two ago. Anyway, it's just ESPN.
"Don't get distracted, myself. Don't get distracted." Self-talk from a young relative
wvitbear
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Every game is crucial. We should pick up a game in Arizona. But ASU just beat Washington up there so it may be tougher than I thought.
annarborbear
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Last year, the PAC12 had seven teams in. The seventh-place team was Washington State, with a 9-9 league record and a NET ranking of #38.

Right now our own NET ranking was #56 before today's game. To make a significant move up in that number, we likely will need to upset one of the PAC12's highly-ranked teams.

There are 32 automatic qualifiers from various league championships, and 36 selected at-large teams. It gets tricky when there are year-end league tournament upsets. When a champion from a lower league gets upset, they may then still get in as an at-large selection. So everything varies from year to year. We might get in if we finish as high as eighth and then have a good PAC12 tournament finish. But the safest way in will likely be to finish seventh.

And recall also that WSU got a big bump up in its final NET ranking last year by beating Utah, Colorado and UCLA in the season-end tournament. So the season outcomes and rankings do extend into those final PAC12 games.

Right now, after today's game, we are in eighth place.
SFCALBear72
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The Arizona trip will be Leilani's "Farewell Tour - Part II" She's from Phoenix and should have a large contingent of family and friends cheering on the Bears.

Part I was last year during her senior year campaign.

Go Bears!!
john1953
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Cal's rebounded, ferociously, especially Suarez and Williams. Onyiah had five in 21 minutes, Not to mention Krimili, Martin and Langraita's rebounding. Twenty-two offensive rebounds to nine for Oregon; twenty-four second chance points to eight for Oregon.

Over those 21 minutes, Onyiah terrorized their post to force turnovers and get Cal surging in the second half. I gave her the game ball, though Krimili's five 3's were also worthy of honors. She has more than stepped up into the lost scoring shoes of Jayda Curry.

There was at least one bad call that went as a foul on Michelle; but I thought there were equally bad calls against Oregon so I won't rag on the refs.

I've watched Kelly Grave's teams for many years and I admire how his teams take so many easy shots close to the basket. Rarely did you see Gonzaga and now the Oregon Ducks force passes or bad shots when just slowing it down into an easy opportunistic layup is available,

Sometimes I wonder why Cal takes superwoman shots when a little footwork will get a much higher percentage look. Sometimes it appears because they are trying to take the shot when the clock winds down but it seems like they should run the offense a little sooner into a better shot even if there are a few seconds left on the clock. Cal has an interesting mix of perimeter catch and shoot players and a couple who can create shots though it sometimes looks a little like street one-on-one ball. If it results in points I still cheer ("oh NO!! UMMM OH YESSS!!"), but I must admit I am often groaning because they aren't drawing net or foul calls on some of these many off-balance misses. Of course the rebounding beast mode hustle and positioning helps get a second and third chance.

The conference playoffs will probably dictate if Cal gets off the bubble for the NCAA madness -- obviously, NIT could be in the cards if they come up short. My Spidey sense is that Cal is improving weekly and will produce some big wins -- and make the big March tournament. Win ONE game vs. USC or UCLA at home in early February and our chances immediately go up.



HoopDreams
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I wasn't able to go to the game today due to the weather, and couldn't watch it on streaming

looking at the box score the thing that jumps out are the number of shots... our shooting percentages weren't good but rebounding and steals gave us many more possessions and won us the game

Needed win to stay in the hunt

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