Golden Nuggets: Cal Women's Basketball Climbs to 2nd in the Pac-12

After opening the conference slate with a disappointing pair of losses to the LA schools, Coach Gottlieb and her team have won 8 of their last 9 and secured a solid hold on second place in the conference. Although they lost a handful of games by the narrowest of margins early in the season, the team has shown improvement in its ability to close out games. Coach Gottlieb talks about what her young team has learned this far in the season.

"I don't think we are perfect, but we are battle-tested at this point. I think we can look at each other in any situation and feel like we are going to fight through it. We made some mistakes today, but I thought they stuck with the game plan and we got it done. It really feels nice to get two really big road wins."

"To be able to win consistently in conference, you have to be able to adjust to different styles and still have your own identity and assert your role in the game, but handle other people's styles. You asked about Brittany. They like to really pressure, so she is going to thrive in a game like that. When people ask about Arizona State, I say that great point guard play is important. That is one of the reasons she really stepped up today because she likes that physical battle. For us as a team, we know that if someone wants to slow it down and make life tough for us, the best thing we can do is rebound the basketball and get out in transition. I thought when we were in control of the game, we were doing that. We had to grind out some possessions, but I think we were able to that more often than not."

"I can't say enough about Brittany Boyd. Sometimes she gives me grey hair, but I love her like my child. I said, going into Arizona State, it's really tough for point guards. It is even tougher for a freshman point guard. I have so much confidence and belief in her. I think her growth is coming from being able to think `next play' and when something tough happens, `I got the next one'. I think she was a huge difference-maker today."

"We have the LA schools coming up. Obviously we had a tough weekend down there. We know that we are trying to separate ourselves from the pack and UCLA and USC are also towards the top, so it is going to be a big weekend for us. But more than anything, we want to show that we are a better team than how we played when we played them the first time. And we are excited to play in front of our home crowd and we just want to keep getting better."

After the jump Aaron Rodgers wins the MVP, football picks up two more athletes, and the rugby pain train continues to lay a hurtin' on Pac-12 schools.

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