The California Golden Bears defeated the Oregon Ducks today 55-49 tonight. The Ducks kept it close throughout, as both teams had a deep aversion to putting the ball in the bucket (Oregon shot 37%, Cal 37.5%.) Cal won on the back of 3 point shooting (3 more made 3 pointers) and rebounding (+14.) Ruthy Hebard had 11 points and 8 rebounds for the Ducks, who also got 11 points and 7 assists from Sabrina Ionescu. Cal was led by Kristine Anigwe (16 points, 10 rebounds) and Asha Thomas (15 points, 7 rebounds, 50% from 3.)
The Bears jumped out to a 9 point lead behind Thomas’ hot hand, as the guard went 3-3 from beyond the arc in the first 4 minutes of the game. The Ducks responed with baskets by Hebard, Ionescu, and Bando to cut the lead to 3, 17-14.
And then, in the quarter that offense forgot, both teams scored 12 points. Combined. Cal’s 6 points came courtesy of Mikayla Cowling and Anigwe, while Oregon received contributions from Jacinta Vandenberg, Morgan Yaeger, and Sierra Campisano. At the end of the quarter the Bears had maintained their 3 point advantage, leading 23-20.
As cold as both teams were in the second quarter, they were just as hot in the third. Cal shot 58.3% for the quarter, with most of the damage coming from Jaelyn Brown (8 points) and Mi’Cole Cayton (5 points.) Ionescu had 5 points for the Ducks, and her layup with 5:38 remaining cut the Bears lead to 1. A Thomas 3 with 3:09 left fueled the late push for Cal, as the Bears took a 42-36 lead into the final frame.
Oregon made its push in the first half of the fourth quarter, tying the game up for the first time on a Hebard jumper. A Thomas 3 was followed by a 3 pointer by Maite Cazorla, an Anigwe layup, and a Campisano layup to leave the score knotted at 49 with 3:36 remaining. Unfortunately the Ducks were never able to get over the hump, and that was as close as the game got. Anigwe scored 4 points over the final 2:30, and Bando missed a 3 with 12 seconds left to tie the game. Free throws by Cayton and Anigwe made the final margin 5-49. Next the Ducks face the Stanford Cardinal on Sunday at 1 PM.