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Cal Women's Hoops Open Thread: Golden Bears 68, Gaels 65

Everyone knew this season would have its bumps, and this one was close to a huge upset. But Cal managed to gut it out!

Oaklandish Bear was at the game, and provides stream-of-consciousness thoughts about what happened there!

Boy, this is going to be a rough pre-season.
The freshmen looked lost defensively after they had to defend in the half-court for more than 20 seconds. Totally got broken down and weren’t switching/communicating. St. Mary’s did Cal a favor in the last few minutes as they tried to run clock, as the Bears only had to defend the last 10 seconds and could do that.
Between missed layups and tossing up brick after brick after brick, it’s a wonder we even scored 60.
Lexi disappeared as she tried to do too much/everything – and wound up doing nothing.
Interesting that in crunch time, it was Lexi, Tasha, and Clarendon – Lauren was nowhere to be found. The writing is already on the wall, I think.
Tasha stepped up big tonight and won the game, with an assist from Clarendon who had some nice running floaters down the lane.
The only 3 that we hit tonight was by Stallworth and was waved off for a travel.
Each of the freshmen showed some flashes of both brilliance and also complete ineptitude. What else would we expect?
Pierre had a game changing steal late in the game that helped turn the tide for Cal. Wow she’s fast. Of course, a few possessions earlier she got in GREAT position to take a charge but left her feet instead and got called for a block.
Stallworth and Caldwell were looking gassed in the first half! 2nd game in 3 days seemed to hit them especially. Need more conditioning!f
Caldwell scored almost exclusively on put-backs. Can’t create her own offense, but can clear the glass and score. That’s cool.
Still think Stallworth is the best of the kids, but Clarendon is a close second and really growing on me. Pierre looks the most lost sometimes, especially offensively. She sure is quick, though.
Love Brandon’s hops, but she’s not nearly the finisher that Caldwell is. She threw up a bunch of junk on put-back attempts.
Perhaps the most encouraging thing is we only had 16 turnovers, and only 5 were by the guards.
Sunday’s game should be interesting! Hope the freshmen learned some things tonight.

Oh, and someone asked about Rama – she was injured again over the summer, a meniscus tear. Not sure of timetable for her return.

Go Bears!


After the jump, check out the comments, as well as the preview CalBear81 wrote for the game!

CalBear81 managed to write up this quickie preview of the game, check it here and after the jump!

The #13/18 ranked Golden Bears Women's Basketball team takes on the St. Mary's Gaels tonight at 7:00 p.m. at Haas Pavilion.  Cal's young team is off to an explosive start, winning its opener against Idaho State Tuesday night 100-43 -- the first time the Cal women had scored 100 points since 1996.  It came on the heels of a 101-81 exhibition victory over Vanguard.  Cal showed good depth against Idaho State.  Every player was on the floor for at least 15 minutes, and every player scored.  Five Bears scored in double figures.  Despite the Bears' offensive show, Coach Joanne Boyle said that Cal's defense is "way ahead of our offense right now," and that it was the defense that jumpstarted the offense.


Cal's six freshmen showed huge potential. Forward DeNesha Stallworth scored 17 points, going 6-8 from the field.  Forward Talia Caldwell had a game-high 9 rebounds.  Guard Eliza Pierre had 11 points, 4 steals, 2 assists and a block.  And guard Layshia Clarendon played 26 minutes, the most for the Bears.  Veterans Alexis Gray-Lawson and Natasha Vital scored 16 points each, and Lauren Greif added 9.  After the game, Vital noted that the depth of this year's Cal team allowed her to play fewer minutes and, thus, give "100 percent the whole time" instead of having to pace herself.

St. Mary's (11-19, 7-7 WCC), is also off to a 1-0 start, having defeated Idaho State on Monday night, 65-55.  Idaho State came within two points of the Gaels with 10 minutes to play, before St. Mary's pulled ahead for good.  The Gaels' leading scorers were Jontelle Smith (15) and Ashlee Smith (15).  Ashlee added 12 rebounds, for her second career double-double.

Two Gaels players were named to the preseason WCC all-conference team: junior center Louella Tomlinson and senior guard Jontelle Smith. Last season, Tomlinson had 161 blocks, second in the country, and was named WCC Defensive Player of the Year.  Jonetelle Smith is Saint Mary's all-time leader in three-pointers (190). She has been twice named to the All-WCC First Team.