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The Bears defeat San Diego and Lindsay Gottlieb earns her 200th career win!

Behind red hot shooting, the Bears cruise to victory over the Toreros

@calwbball twitter

A solid, comfortable win. A fun career milestone. An encouraging team performance. Not much more to ask for on an otherwise sleepy, early season weeknight!

Cal cruised to a 25 point win over San Diego, led by blistering 69% shooting from the field. It took a while for Cal to really pull away, as the Toreros managed to stay within 10-15 points for much of the game. But this was a contest that was never in much doubt.

San Diego pressed, trapped, and applied ball pressure for the majority of the game. That strategy did help to force 17 Cal turnovers, but whenever the Bears broke through the pressure they found plenty of time and space to operate and create good shooting opportunities. The result was an impressive 89 points in 71 possessions (1.25 points/possession) that easily outpaced anything San Diego could hope to produce.

Cal’s defense struggled at times to prevent San Diego from moving the ball into the paint and keeping the aggressive Toreros off of the offensive glass, but Cal altered enough shots and got enough defensive boards to allow their efficient offense to build a comfortable lead.

The primary beneficiary of San Diego’s aggressive defensive approach? Kristine Anigwe wasn’t getting double teamed without the ball for the first time in a month, and she responded with 26 points on 14 shots. She had plenty of support from her teammates, both in the form of assists (Cal’s primary ball handlers managed 18 in total) and scoring, as nine other Bears registered on the score sheet.

One easy way to see how different San Diego’s defense was? The Bears attempted just 7 shots from behind the arc (remember a few games ago when Asha hit 9 all by herself?), mostly because they were able to attack the hoop directly all game long.

Cal came out with plenty of energy, and for a few possessions played a fascinating 1-3-1 trapping defense with 6’5’’ Kristine Anigwe at the tip of the zone, harassing San Diego’s ball handlers. That defense wasn’t used long enough for me to get much of a sense of how well it would work, but it did produce one turnover that immediately let to an Anigwe basket because she was already out in transition playing at the top of the zone.

Cal spent the rest of the first half switching between 2-3 zone looks and player to player looks. San Diego kinda scored right with the Bears for the first half but Cal tightened up in the 2nd half for what was ultimately a reasonably solid defensive effort.

Freshman Kianna Smith had the tough task of dealing with a pressuring defense as the primary ball handler. As you would expect from a talented freshmen, she led the team in both assists (7) and turnovers (4).

Cal will travel to Stockton on Sunday for a game against UOP as the end of the non-conference schedule (and Pac-12 play) approaches. If you’ve never been to the Dean Spanos Center in Stockton, come watch and say hi! It’s a legit fun place to take in a game. Go Bears!