Phew! That was one tense game Monday night, as the California Golden Bears women's basketball team fought the Georgia Bulldogs for their first trip ever to the Final Four. I will try to put together a more detailed post on both the Sweet 16 game against LSU and the Elight 8 game against Georgia shortly. But in the meantime, I wanted to share my videos of the Bears' celebrations.
The Bears struggled early in the game, then pulled close, but fell back to a 10-point deficit with less than seven minutes left. That was no problem for these Bears, of course. They clawed their way back and took the game to overtime. With a 2-point lead and only 2.1 seconds to go in the overtime, Layshia Clarendon was fouled. Clarendon missed the first and made the second, to give the Bears a 3-point lead. This is what happened next:
And the celebrations were just getting underway! The Bears were presented with their Final Four Trophy, Afure Jemerigbe was named to the All-Region team, and Layshia Clarendon was named outstanding player of the region:
The Bears performed one of their patented dances in celebration:
The players ran over to celebrate with and thank the Cal Straw Hat Band for their support:
And then the cutting down of nets began!
Leading off -- Reshanda Gray:
The always entertaining Mikayla Lyles:
"Ace" - Avigiel Cohen (Yes, she is from Israel. What makes you ask?):
"Fu" (or is it "Foo"? I can never decide) -- Afure Jemerigbe:
Gennifer Brandon, who -- as those of us who saw these seniors cut down the nets after the WNIT championship when they were freshmen, will remember -- does not like to climb up ladders. Fortunately, with her height and long arms, she was able to climb only a couple of steps to get her share of this net:
And then came the seniors. First, Talia Caldwell:
Then Layshia Clarendon, who is a little better at handling a basketball than a small piece of net:
EP! Eliza Pierre:
And finally, Tierra Rogers:
Then it was the coaches' turn. Kai Felton started it off, although her famous shoes almost got in the way:
Coach Katy Steding:
Coach Charmin Smith:
And, of course, Head Coach Lindsay Gottlieb:
Then the ladder was moved to the other net, where various members of the Cal Women's Basketball family took their turns cutting down pieces, until finally, Cal Athletic Director Sandy Barbour finished it off:
And the evening ended with Coach Gottlieb leaving the court through the Cal Band, surrounded by chants of "Bear Territory!"
Come to think of it, this celebration was so much fun, the Bears really ought to do it again next week!