California women hold off No. 14 UCLA
Posted at: 01/20/2013 4:37 PM
By MICHAEL WAGAMAN
(AP) BERKELEY, Calif. - Layshia Clarendon scored 22 points to help No. 7 California beat No. 14 UCLA 70-65 on Sunday.
Talia Caldwell added 14 points and 11 rebounds while Gennifer Brandon also had a double-double with 12 points and 14 rebounds for the Golden Bears (15-2, 5-1). It’s Cal’s third win over a Top 25 team in its last five games.
UCLA was within 54-50 late in the second half when Clarendon made a 3-pointer. She later stole an inbounds pass as part of a 10-2 run then made four free throws in the final 54 seconds left to seal the win.
Thea Lemberger scored 15 points for the Bruins (13-4, 4-2). UCLA has lost two straight after winning its previous six.
Three days after topping conference-leading USC, the Bears led nearly the entire game but had to hold off a late charge by the Bruins to move atop the Pac-12 standings.
It’s the latest milestone for second-year coach Lindsay Gottlieb’s team. In the past two weeks Cal has beaten No. 21 Colorado and split a pair of games with No. 6 Stanford.
The win over No. 14 UCLA helped break a four-way tie for first in the Pac-12. Stanford and USC play later Sunday, with the winner joining the Bears in first.
It didn’t come easily.
Cal twice blew double-digit leads in the second half and was held without a basket over the final four minutes, allowing the Bruins to make one final push.
Atonye Nyingfa made a short jumper and Markel Walker added a three-point play. Kari Korver followed with her third 3-pointer to bring UCLA within 64-60 with 1:06 left.
After Clarendon stopped the run with two free throws, the Bruins came back and pulled to 68-65 on Korver’s layup with seven seconds remaining before Clarendon made two more free throws to seal the game.
Afure Jemerigbe had 10 points and four steals for Cal.
UCLA led 8-4 early before Cal went on a 20-4 run to move in front for good. Jemerigbe scored five straight points to start the run and Brittany Boyd’s layup capped it and put the Bears up 24-12.
Brandon, who matched a school record with 26 rebounds in Cal’s overtime win against USC on Thursday, later scored on a putback and Clarendon added a layup to make it 40-33 at the break.
The Bruins never got closer than four points in the second half.
Korver and Alyssia Brewer finished with 13 points apiece for UCLA.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)