Bears Go Down Fighting On Senior Day
BERKELEY – The California women's basketball team refused to down without a fight on Saturday afternoon. Cal closed out the final minutes of the fourth quarter on an 18-2 run to make it a two-possession game before eventually falling to Washington State 73-67.
The Bears trailed by 22, 68-46, when the Cougars' Ula Mortuga hit a three from the top of the arc with 5:23 to play in the contest. From there, Cal caught fire. Leilani McIntosh got the epic run started with a traditional 3-point play. During that same stretch, Cailyn Crocker finished the untraditional four-point play after getting fouled on a three with 4:17 to play.
Ugonne (Michelle) Onyiah capped off the run with a 3-point play of her own with 40 seconds remaining to bring the Bears within six. Jayda Curry finished her stellar afternoon with a three in the closing seconds, but it wasn't enough as the Cougars were able to hold on.
Cal concludes the regular season with a record of 11-12 (2-10 Pac-12). The Bears were led by Curry's 19 points, 17 of which came in the second half – 10 in the third quarter alone. It marks the 22nd time this season she has finished in double figures.
She was joined in double figures by Evelien Lutje Schipholt, who scored 8 of her 10 points in the first quarter. Lutje Schipholt opened the contest 4-for-4 from the field and scored her 500th career point midway through the opening period. McIntosh finished the game with 11 points and three assists in another stellar performance.
As a team, Cal shot 42 percent (25-59) and made all 11 of their free throws while out-rebounding Washington State 32-26. Their best-sustained play came at the end of each quarter, where they held the Cougars to zero points in the last 4:05 of the first half and three points in the last 4:17 of the second half.
Washington State (19-9, 11-6 Pac-12) shot 55 percent from the field, however, making 28 of 51 total shots and going 8-12 (67 percent) from beyond the arc.
They were aided by 4 double-digit scorers in Charlisse Leger-Walker (21 points), Bella Murekatete (16 points), Tara Wallack (14 points), and Motuga (12 points).
The Bears honored their lone senior Sierra Richey in ceremonies before and after the game.
Cal will take on Utah in the opening round of the Pac-12 Tournament on Wednesday, March 3 from the Michelob ULTRA Arena at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. That game is slated for an 8:30 p.m. start.