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Cal women's basketball falls to Stanford 53-46

Go Bears! Beat Stanford!

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

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- Despite holding No. 15 Stanford (18-5, 8-3 Pac-12) to 35 percent shooting and below 30 percent from the floor for most of Tuesday night, California's (11-11, 2-9) offense sputtered in the second half and the Golden Bears fell 53-46 at Maples Pavilion.

The Bears' strong first quarter was stifled by a tough shooting performance, especially toward the end of the game. Freshman Kristine Anigwe, who was coming off her first collegiate game where she didn't score in double figures, finished with a team-high 17 points and seven rebounds and was the primary target on offense.

"I don't know if that was one of the prettiest Battles of the Bay," Bear's head coach Lindsay Gottlieb said. "But I thought our effort was really good."

"Holding them to 53 should be enough," she added.

The Bears opened the game on an 11-4 run. Anigwe scored nine of the team's first 11 points. Combined with a stiff Cal defense that held the Cardinal to 2-15 shooting in the first hal, the Bears led 15-8 at the end of the first quarter. Stanford's eight points is the second-lowest output it has produced in a first quarter this season.

The Cardinal's defense, however, stepped up and helped its struggling offense. The Bears missed their first four shots of the second quarter and between the end of the first and beginning of second quarter made 1-11 field goal attempts. With 54 seconds left in the first half the Cardinal tied the game at 22 on a made free throw.

"We got a lot of open looks in the first half we will make on Friday," Gottlieb said. "I think the last three games have felt better. I have not felt for one second in the locker room that this team has given up."

In the second half the Cal defense and focus returned and helped tighten the Cardinal lead to just one point multiple times. Stanford finished the third quarter 4-14 from the field and shot no free throws in the quarter. The Bears held Stanford to just 10 points for a 35-33 Stanford lead.

Cal's shooting woes continued into the fourth quarter, and the Cardinal siezed control of the game. The Bears' first eight points of the quarter came from the free-throw line, and Cal shot just 2-11 in the final 10 minutes.

"We just missed easy layups," said Bears forward Courtney Range, who finished with 15 points.

The Bears will have an opportunity to redeem themselves on Friday when the teams are at it again at Haas Pavilion for the second game in the Battle of the Bay series.

"I'd hope if we played on Mars we'd shoot better than 29 percent," Gottlieb said. "It's ugly and it hurts to be in this spot but I have no doubt the lessons they are learning in the experience they are getting are going to at some point going to be really critical."