Cal 68, Utah 59: Bears pull away, 4-0 in Pac-12

I really need some new photos in the editor. Half the pictures from this year are Duke/UConn pictures. - Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Just another kinda-close, quasi-thrilling win for the masters of single digit victories.

For 35 minutes the Bears played down to Utah. And sure enough, when push came to shove, Cal and Brittany Boyd took over to make a tough game look much better on the final scoreboard.

With 5:15 left Utah hit a bucket to cut Cal's lead to three points. The Bears promptly went on an 11-3 run, fueled mostly by 7 points and an assist from Brittany Boyd. And thus a dangerous situation was immediately defused. Utah tried to play the fouling game, but the Bears hit 7-10 from the line to maintain their advantage

Boyd was involved in almost everything positive for Cal. She finished with 24 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and only 2 turnovers. She set the tone early in Cal's press and she sealed the game late with her own personal scoring run. When it wasn't Boyd it was probably Reshanda Gray, who fought through 2nd half foul trouble to finish with 15 points and 7 rebounds.

Defensively, it was a battle between Cal an Michelle Plouffe. On one hand, Utah's star finished with 19 points, 14 rebounds and 4 assists. On the other hand, she shot just 25% from the field and had 6 turnovers. I guess we'll call it a wash. Utah had three other starters that reached double digit scoring, but they didn't get a single point from their bench in very limited minutes. With all five starters logging at least 33 minutes each it wouldn't surprise me if fatigue played a role in Cal's late-game surge.

The biggest team factor in Cal's win was probably the ability to force turnovers. For all of their problems with depth and injuries, the Utes are a pretty good ball-handling team and they don't have many unforced turnovers. Cal pressed trapped, reached, jostled, and otherwise harassed Utah ball-handlers for 40 minutes. It resulted in 10 Cal steals and more opportunities to run in transition than Utah would have liked to allow.

Cal's 2nd road win of the season marks just the halfway point of a difficult four game road swing that will take them to the desert next. While Utah and Arizona are probably the two weakest teams in the conference, Colorado and next Friday's opponent, Arizona State, are the two toughest road games on Cal's Pac-12 schedule that don't involve Maples Pavilion.

That the Bears are still undefeated in conference play despite limited minutes from Gen Brandon is a great sign. Cal's senior forward logged 20 minutes, and while her shooting is still rusty she looked just as athletic and active as ever, recording 5 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks. Her defense looked excellent and I'd expect her to get more and more minutes.

The middle portion of Cal's conference schedule is certainly the toughest, but the Bears are as ready as they could expect to be. Expect plenty more close, stressful games over the next few weeks. Would you have it any other way?

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join California Golden Blogs

You must be a member of California Golden Blogs to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at California Golden Blogs. You should read them.

Join California Golden Blogs

You must be a member of California Golden Blogs to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at California Golden Blogs. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker