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Cal Women's Basketball

Bears Complete Season Sweep Of Washington

February 11, 2024
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SEATTLE, Wash. The California women’s basketball team got off to a fast start going up by as many as 13 points in the first quarter, but had to grind it out to earn a 59-57 win at Washington Sunday afternoon at Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle, Washington. The win gives the Golden Bears (15-10, Pac 5-8) their first season sweep of Washington (13-10, 3-9) along with Washington State since the 2018-19 season and marks the most conference wins under Cal head coach Charmin Smith. At 15-10, Cal is off to its best 25-game start since the 2018-19 season (started 15-10).

“Just really excited for this team,” said Smith.  “We hit a rough patch and we talked about just staying the course and really working on getting better every day and I think we did that. I think it's evident and being able to pull off the sweep on the road in the Pac-12, that's not an easy feat. I’m really proud of the team.”

Leilani McIntosh hit a pair of triples to move into 10th place on Cal’s all-time career 3-pointers list. Ioanna Krimili and Marta Suárez each had 14 points to lead all scorers in the game.

Cal opened with a 10-2 lead midway through the first quarter with Krimili and McIntosh each hitting from beyond the arc. Lulu Twidale connected on a triple of her own to fuel a 7-0 run and extend Cal’s lead to 17-4 with under two minutes to go in the quarter before the Huskies answered with five straight to cut the deficit to eight points going into the second quarter.

In the second quarter, the Huskies used an extended 7-0 run to get within five points before McKayla Williams hit a jumper to end the run. Washington cut the deficit to three points before Ila Lane scored on consecutive possessions to put the Bears up, 23-16, with six minutes remaining in the quarter. The Huskies connected on three straight field goals to cut the deficit to two points before McIntosh hit her second triple of the game with two minutes to go. Cal would take a 31-29 lead into the break.

Washington scored the first four points of the third quarter to take a 33-31 lead, its first of the game, at the 7:01 mark. McIntosh converted on a 3-point play to regain the lead for the Bears with under four minutes to go in the quarter. She then stole the Huskies’ inbounds pass and found Marta Suárez for a layup, who connected on a triple on the Bears’ next possession to fuel a 10-0 run and take a 41-35 lead at the 2:13 mark. Cal would hold the six-point lead going into the final frame.

After the Huskies got to within two points in the fourth quarter, Suárez converted a 3-point play to put the Bears back up five points at the 7:21 mark. Krimili hit her third triple of the game and followed up with a layup to give Cal a 58-52 lead with 3:14 left in the game. Washington hit a triple with 45 seconds left to get within three. Cal turned it over on a shot clock violation on the next possession giving the Huskies a chance to tie the game with 14 seconds left. Washington missed a 3-point attempt, but got fouled on the rebound and converted 1-of-2 free throws. Michelle Onyiah missed two free-throws, but without a timeout and only three seconds left, the Huskies had to heave a half-court shot but missed to seal the 59-57 win for the Bears. 

“Once again Ila [Lane] came in and was huge,” Smith said. “Lulu [Twidale], Mia [Mastrov], KK [McKayla Williams], everyone came in and contributed and then I thought Leilani [McIntosh] was really steady and spearheaded our defensive effort holding Washington to a low field goal percentage once again, our defense was really good this weekend.”

NEXT UP

Cal stays on the road to face No. 6 Stanford on Friday at 7 p.m. PT.

Related:

Bears Sweep WSU in Road Rematch, 66-59

Bears Beat the Huskies, 70-57

Bears Complete Season Sweep Of Washington

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