This game was an archetypal win for Cal basketball this season. Brittany Boyd doing a whole bunch of Brittany Boyd things. Reshanda Gray scoring easily inside whenever she got the ball in good position. Less rebounds than we'd like. An unexpected 3 pointer here or there. An opponent that keeps things vaguely close but never really feels like winning. As a result, there isn't much to say about this game.
Same as it ever was, but luckily this is a pretty good thing to do over and over again. Would I like to see our Bears really pummel a team that they are capable of pummeling? Sure, who wouldn't? But as long as the Bears keep grinding out wins we'll all be pretty happy.
The star for the day was Boyd, who had one of the best 4-14 nights you'll ever see. As always, Boyd stuffed the stat sheet with rebounds, steals and assists, but really excelled from the line, where she hit 15-17 free throws. If Boyd had finished a bit better she could have easily gone for 30, but Arizona was aggressive fouling her, and she punished the Wildcats for it.
Gray added another double double with 20 points and 12 rebounds, stayed out of foul trouble, and hit 7-9 from the field. The rest of the Bears struggled a bit to help Gray out rebounding, but Arizona didn't have the size to really punish Cal's lackluster effort on the boards.
Nobody else managed double digit scoring, but seven other Bears did register on the score sheet in a relatively balanced effort. Mikayla Lyles had some nice minutes defensively and on the glass, Gennifer Brandon looked a bit sharper offensively, and Mercedes Jefflo got the game started off on the right foot with six quick points. But for the most part the Bears deferred to their two big stars, and against a struggling team like Arizona that was more than enough.
As a result, Cal finished their four game road swing through Colorado, Utah and Arizona with a record of 3-1. Colorado's sudden cold streak makes that look less impressive, but it's still a solid result for a team that isn't yet playing the type of basketball they are capable of. This win keeps Cal right near a suddenly crowded top of the conference.
Next up is a tough pair of home games with a resurgent USC and an always dangerous UCLA. The Pac-12 this year is such that there are very few breaks, even at home. And as we've seen, Cal's shooting just isn't good enough to really put teams away. Still, the Bears are doing what they do well enough to win games. I'm looking forward to watching them do it at home next week. Friday and Sunday night at 6:00 - let's make life tough on our Socal rivals!