COUGS LOSE: Apologies for the late wrap. Had to catch a flight back to Seattle. Washington State lost to Cal to a 64-49 at Staples Center Cal in turn lost the title to top-seeded Stanford on Saturday. You can read about the WSU loss here. Below is the Cardinal cutting the net. Perkins was named to the All-Tournament team while F Nnemkadi Ogwumike was named Most Outstanding Player.
BREAK TIME: Leaving the blog to write the newspaper version. Cal is up 56-46 and Daugherty just called time. There’s 2:25 remaining to pull a miracle. I’ll be back for ending.
ROLL CAL: Ahem, WSU is playing about as well as the Lakers now, cal using a 10-2 run to pull ahead 52-44. Highlight was Afure Jemerigbe’s block on Cook. There’s 3:55 remaining. I think the clock is about to strike midnight.
REAL WALLY?: The real Wally Szczerbiak is seated courtside. I think I’m the only one who cares about the former Sonic. The Cal post play is alive, again, giving the Bears a 49-44 lead after a layin by Caldwell with 4:59 left in the half.
COUG MAMBA: If you trust tweets, the Cougs are major Lakers fans. They tweeted all night about being able to play on the same court as Kobe Bryant. They’re pulling out their inner Mamba, Thomas finally hitting some NBA-esque shots to help get the Cougs back in the game. Her FT tied the score at 42 points with 7:43 left in the game.
A FIRST: WSU committed its first turnover of the half and it was costly as Cal turned it into a bucket to take back the lead, 38-37 with 11:31 left. Grad was called for a foul and momentum may be shifting back to the higher seed. Cal is playing for NCAA tournament hopes. They should be in, but the Pac-12 doesn’t get much love, a loss like this could yank them.
SPOTTED: Washington is in the house. PG Jazmine Daivs, another Bay Arena product, is across from the benches with her family. Former star Loree Payne is behind the WSU bench. Daugherty coached her at UW.
BAY SWAG: Boyd is getting worked by fellow Bay Arena product, Perkins. Her turnovers are leading to WSU points. The latest, a three-pointer by Romberg for a 35-30 WSU lead. The Cougs are 5-for-12 from three-point range and Cal is showing signs of frustration on the court. There’s 15:41 left to get it right.
PASTRY SHOP: Cal are the new chefs of the Pac-12 turnovers. They have five in the last three minutes. Four by Boyd. WSU up 31-28.
FIRST LEAD: Romberg had a nice spin move in the paint for a score to give WSU its first lead of the game at 28-26 with 19:21 left in the game.
FUN WITH NUMBERS: Daugherty has been coaching longer than Gottlieb has been alive. Just thought I’d share.
HALFTIME: California is killing in every category, except two — three-pointers and FTs. WSU’s four and 6-for-8 showing at the line has the Cougs tied at 26 points a piece in a game-of-runs half. Call is 1-for-6 from the line and 1-of-5 from three-point range. Either better defense on the perimeter or making the free shots is going to have to change for Cal to take the game. WSU needs to get its FG game going, shooting 27.6 percent in the first half. It’s also getting out muscled 18-6 in the paint. Nobody has scored in double figures, Boyd had six assists for the most impressive individual stat.
BIG STAGE: WSU Cheer and Crimson Girls were awesome, again, even though the cheer squad missed its final stunt. Cal should have thought twice about following the Cougs with its “Party Rock” routine.
TECHNICAL FOUL: Sophomore F Gennifer Brandon was called for a tech, seemingly kneeing Katie Grad in the back, toppling the junior guard as both went for a loose ball out of bounds. The ball was reviewable because it’s a dead ball situation, from what I could understand from the officials. It put Thomas at the line, who made one of two ensuing FTs to time the game at 26 points apiece. Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb, who is the most polite coach when stating her case that I’ve ever seen, was highly upset. She hails from a family of New York lawyers and wanted to know why a similar play was reviewed by officials. “That’s not right,” she said.
UGLY STRETCH: WSU is within striking distance, again, but can’t strike. It’s missed three shots, nullifying Cal’s turnovers and missed bucket by junior guard Eliza Pierre. So, the Cougs are down 22-20 with 3:53 left in the half. It’s a stalled 7-0 run.
NO BOARDS: Cal is hogging the boards as usual. The Bears lead the category 17-7 and are up 22-15 with 6:40 left in the half. We’re on pace to at least have more points in a half than Stanford and ASU. The Cardinals led 29-15 in the first semifinal game. WSU is shooting 27.8 percent, though and Cal is shooting 50 percent.
GET SHORTY: Boyd is going off. She’s scored six of Cal’s 7-0 run to get her team back up 20-12. Boyd also has two steals during the span, getting two fast break layins. There’s 8:51 on the clock.
THREE CITY: Now the three-pointers are dropping and Cal is using up their timeouts to figure out its perimeter defense. WSU now back within 13-12 with 10:50 left. Romberg nailed the last three.
COOKING: Daugherty put senior G April Cook in the game and she’s still hot from Thursday, scoring a team-high 15 points against USC. She put the Cougs on the board with a three-pointer and jumper. But Sherbert responded later with a trey and WSU is down 13-6 with 12:31 remaining in the first half. WSU is 0-for-3 from behind the arc. Cook is back out of the game.
NO COMMENTS: Forget to mention that our comments section is down, shoot me an email at email@example.com if you need to know something or want to holla. Should also mention that the game is being televised on ROOT Sports, if you’d like to yell at your television. Cougs are down 8-0 with 15:27 left in the half.
GOOSE EGG: There’s another fairytale about a golden goose egg, WSU isn’t laying one of those. The Cougs are 0-for-4 from the field to open the game and are getting outrebounded 4-1 to trail 6-0 with 16:38 left in the opening half.
Pac-12 Tournament play moved to Staples Center and top-seeded Stanford (30-1) moved on to the finals with a 52-43 win against No. 4 seed Arizona State (20-11). It’s the second-lowest point total for the Cardinal in school history barely getting by the 51 mark against the Sun Devils’ noted, grinding defense.
Senior F Nnemkadi Ogwumike wasn’t denied for long, scoring 24 points — 10 from the FT line. ASU shot 29.8 percent from the field.
Second-seeded California is on the court now, preparing for its matchup against the tournament’s Cinderella, 11th seeded Washington State. The Cougs advanced with a dominating win against hometown favorite Southern California on Thursday. And after the 69-55 victory where WSU outrebounded USC 51-36, the entire staff jumped into the hotel pool. Check that, coach June Daugherty and her husband, assistant Mike, didn’t take the celebratory dive.
I commented that WSU is partying too early with a win on Friday just as possible. But it is the biggest run in Daugherty’s five-year tenure at the school. The most significant win in program history remains the one NCAA tournament advancement in 1981. The Cougs lost in the opening round to Northwestern 82-62.
What will it take to keep midnight from striking on this fairytale? More of the same for WSU. Guard Rosetta Adzasu didn’t commit a turnover against USC and needs to be just as efficient against Cal. WSU also needs to continue its rebounding tenacity, which will be tough against one of the better rebounding teams in the country. Oh, and the shots need to continue to drop.
The Cougs did lead the Bears 53-50 with 3:38 remaining in the only meeting in January this season. Junior C Carly Noyes was fouled and missed both ensuing FTs, Cal freshmen Brittany Boyd grabbing the board and setting up freshman F Reshanda Gray for a score. Boyd then collected a Jasmine Perkins turnover and Cal outscored WSU 10-2 in the waning minutes to win the game 60-55.
Payback? It all starts with your starting lineups:
F Jasmine Perkins
F Sage Romberg
C Carly Noyes
G Rosetta Adzasu
G Brandi Thomas
F Lindsay Sherbert
F Reshanda Gray
C Talia Caldwell
G Brittany Boyd
G Layshia Clarendon
This afternoon’s officials Melissa Barlow, Anita Ortega, and Penny Davis.