The championship game of the Cal Classic sees the Bears facing the Duquesne Dukes, who might represent the best team Cal has played to date this season, and perhaps the 2nd best team the Bears will face prior to Pac-12 play.
Cal will still be favored - they are the better team, and they are playing at home. But the Dukes made the NCAA tournament as an at-large last year, and won their first game before being ritualistically slaughtered by UConn like everybody else.
They have started the year 4-2, with a couple of road wins over solid mid-majors. They were beaten easily by top 10 Ohio St., a team the Bears would like to think of as a peer.
PG Chassidy Omogrosso
G Nina Aho
G Conor Richardson
G/F Kadri-Ann Lass
F Amadea Szamosi
This is really a 6 player rotation - the five starters, plus Vojinovic. Nobody else plays more than 10 minutes or averages more than 2 points, so they’re basically minute eaters to buy the starters some rest.
It’s a heavily euro rotation - 4 of those 6 are from Hungary, Serbia, and Estonia (plus a Spaniard and 3 Canadians that aren’t major parts of the rotation!) and there’s solid balance across the rotation in terms of scoring impact. Their key player is probably Szamosi, who does a little bit of everything. She averages a double double, leads the team in assists,
Our Computer Overlords Predict
Sagarin Predictor: Cal by 10.5
The Dukes are a solid team, but they are short 3 key starters from last year’s tournament squad. They have played solid defense and rebound well on both sides, but their offense has struggled to hit shots and they haven’t forced a ton of turnovers relative to how often they cough the ball up. If the Bears play their game they should win this one without too much trouble, but Duquesne is good enough to make them pay for a sub-par effort.