No. 8 California women beat No. 19 Kansas 88-79By RICK EYMER, Associated Press Saturday, Dec 22, 2012
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP)—Layshia Clarendon is thankful she doesn’t have to worry about school these days during the semester break. It helps her focus on basketball.
“You just don’t have time to think ahead,” Clarendon said about juggling books and ball. “I’m just trying to get through my workouts and get some sleep.”
California coach Lindsay Gottlieb got on the in-house microphone immediately after the game to thank the 3,009 fans in attendance.
“I was just so excited about the atmosphere in the building,” she said of the team’s first home game in nearly a month. “It was electric.”
It also was Cal’s first win over a ranked opponent in more than a year and the first home victory over a ranked foe in nearly four years.
“I knew we had a terrific opportunity,” Gottlieb said. “Kansas is an excellent team. They played in the Sweet Sixteen last year. We’ve built up to this point. The team is progressing the way we hoped.”
Gennifer Brandon added 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Golden Bears (9-1), who matched the best start in school history.
Brandon scored 14 points and had nine rebounds in the second half.
“I just tried to get more focused,” she said after her second straight double-double.
Talia Caldwell made all five of her shots and had 12 points. Reshanda Gray added 13 and Afure Jemerigbe scored 10.
“I feel like we’re one of the most athletic teams in the country,” Gottlieb said. “We want to come at you with waves of speed.”
The 5-foot-9 Clarendon used her speed to create mismatches and finished one point shy of her career high.
“This is one of the best games we’ve had as far as moving the ball,” she said. “We got them to chase the ball a little bit.”
Angel Goodrich had 21 points to lead the Jayhawks (9-2), who were playing their third road game. Carolyn Davis added 16 points, Natalie Knight had 13 and Chelsea Gardner 12.
“They did a nice job of pressuring the ball,” Kansas coach Bonnie Henrickson said. “They’re impressive in 1-on-1 situations and they get you in transition.”
Goodrich, who led the nation in assists last year, helped keep the Jayhawks within striking distance most of the game. Cal didn’t feel comfortable until taking its biggest lead, 12 points, with 22 seconds remaining.
“You saw two good point guards,” Henrickson said. “Both can find the open player and both can thread the needle.”
Brittany Boyd sank a layup in the final seconds of the first half, giving Cal a 42-35 lead at the break. It was the most points allowed by Kansas in a half this season.
The Golden Bears, who have started the same five players in every game, used an 11-0 run to overcome a strong Kansas start and open a seven-point edge.
Both teams shot better than 50 percent in the first half. Cal took advantage of its 12 offensive rebounds for a 16-6 advantage in second-chance points.
Kansas played its 94th game against a Pac-12 opponent, although 88 have been against former Big 12 rival Colorado. The Jayhawks have played Cal more often than any other Pac-12 foe aside from the Buffaloes.
The Jayhawks, who last played the Golden Bears five years ago, fell to 2-19 under Henrickson against teams ranked in the top 10.
Cal leads the series between the schools 4-1.
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