Cal women's basketball nearly upsets Stanford with Steph Curry watching up close
A pretty impressive performance by a Bears team on the rise.
The California Golden Bears put in their best effort of the season against the second-ranked Stanford Cardinal, taking things down to the final seconds, but couldn’t get over the hump in a 60-56 defeat.
Cal was led by a spirited Leilani McIntosh, who poured 19 points to lead the Bears, scoring nine points in a row in the fourth to give the Bears a narrow lead. McIntosh had a flurry of moves in the game that impressed Steph Curry, who was in attendance with his mother Sonya.
Jayda Curry chipped in nine points and got the props from Steph as well.
Other crucial Cal contributors included Kemery Martin with eight points and eight boards, Evelien Lutje Schipholt with eight points and five rebounds, and Claudia Langarita with seven points.
Cal battled throughout, taking leads in every quarter, including a 56-53 lead with 4:08 left. But Stanford locked in on defense after that, going on a 7-0 run to wrap things up. Cameron Brink (Sonya Curry’s goddaughter) had 9 fourth quarter points in a row to cap off her monumental 25 point, 17 rebound effort, and Haley Jones’s layup late gave Stanford the lead.
Cal had a shot to tie at the end, but Langarita was just off the mark.
Despite Cal having a good three-point shooting game (21 points to Stanford’s 12), the Cardinal size was just enough with nine extra rebounds, +12 points in the paint, +11 on second chance points, and +9 on free throws made.
Cal fell to 1-3 in the Pac-12 and 10-5 overall, although admittedly three of those losses are to two of the best teams in the conference and two came down to the wire. Cal will have a crucial road trip to the Los Angeles schools to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes on the right track.
Despite his mother’s support of Brink and Stanford and his own close relationship with Brink, Curry came to the Cal locker room after and gave a pep talk to the Bears (click through the tweet to see the video).
Charmin Smith is doing what Coach Fox is doing with the men's team, developing a bench. The improvement over last year's women's team is palpable, and I hope will continue to show promise throughout the remainder of the season. One of the benefits of having season tickets to the women's team is the ability to sit close to the floor and watch them perform up close. I urge folks to attend games, and bring friends and young women to watch.
Most encouraging game I've seen the Bears play in several years. A win would have been fantastic but I hope the team builds on their effort. Wins will come.
Steph was sitting in front of me (actually I was directly behind his mother who was wearing an awful red sweatshirt) he clearly got excited by some of Cal's better moments.