After a tough loss to Stanford on Friday, the women’s basketball team looked to get their third consecutive win against Cal and to put the Stanford game behind them. It was a battle throughout the entire game, with neither team pulling farther than a few points ahead at a time, but ultimately it would be Cal that would come away with a 63-56 victory.
“I think we were competitive and we stayed in the game until the last two minutes,” senior guard Courtney Jaco said. “We just have to do a better job of executing in games, but I think we let that one slip away from us.”
Going into the game, the Bears’ Kristine Anigwe was leading her team with an average of 22.8 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. However, it would be USC’s junior forward Kristen Simon who outshined Anigwe both offensively and defensively. Not only did Simon finish the game without any fouls, a difficult feat for any post player, but she finished with 24 points and 9 rebounds, almost clinching yet another double-double this season. She also managed to hold Anigwe to only 10 points and 9 rebounds.
While the Trojans finished the half down 28-25, it was Simon who kept them competitive throughout. But Cal remained solid across the board, effectively keeping the Trojans from taking the victory, while the Trojans struggled with spreading their scoring around. Four players from Cal finished the game with over 10 points, while only Simon was able to do so for the Trojans.
The Cal bench delivered a strong 23 points, converted turnovers into more points, had more rebounds, more fast break points and converted at the line more than the Women of Troy. The game itself was still dominated by Simon, but it was the little things that all added up which earned Cal the win.
“Coach Cooper preaches a lot about taking care of the little things and making them important,” Jaco said. “At the end of the game, we didn’t do that. Those are the things we can control, and if we had done that we might have seen a different outcome.”
The Trojans will head up to north next weekend to take on Oregon State on Friday and Oregon on Sunday.