Berkeley, Calif. - The San Jose State women's basketball team was able to hang with the No. 14 California Golden Bears for a portion of the first half, but Cal's height and length proved to be too much for the Spartans in a 110-87 loss in the opening game of the 2014 Cal Classic.
Jasmine Smith scored the first bucket of the game on her way to a team-high 19 points. Sadly for San José State, it was the only lead the team would enjoy.
California, which shot 57 percent on the night (46-for-81), built a 20-10 lead by the first media timeout and threatened to run away with the game early.
The Bears recorded 34 assists on their 46 made buckets, led by Brittany Boyd's 12 assist, 13 rebound and 11 point triple double. Four other Cal players reached double digits in the scoring column. Gabby Green had 17 points and 12 rebound and Reshanda Gray led California with 21 points.
Ali Bettencourt made 4-of-7 from the field, all from 3-point range, and recorded a season-high 12 points. Ta'Rea Cunnigan added 14 points and led the team with three steals. Rebecca Woodberry, the Spartans leading scorer at 18.0 per game, had just five and was the team's leading rebounder with 10. Riana Byrd had a season-best eight rebounds, but San Jose State was beaten on the boards 58-44.
Wanting to play pressure defense, the Spartans forced Cal into 18 turnovers and turned those in to 21 points, but time and again the bigger Bears went over the top of the Spartans to beat their press.
The Spartans kept it close for the first five minutes, trailing 10-8, but a 17-4 run, over a four-minute span, made a two-point game a 27-12 advantage for Cal with 11:30 to go before the half.
A Paris Baird 3-pointer followed by successive jumpers by from Cunnigan and Byrd cut the lead to 27-19 and after trading buckets the Spartans would be down 29-21.
A Woodberry jumper with 8:03 to play in the half got the Spartans as close as they would get at 33-26. California closed the first 20 minutes with a 28-9 spurt and took a 61-35 lead into the half.
The Bears built as much as a 41-point advantage in the second half, 107-66 with 5:07 to play, before the Spartans furious come back. The team closed the game outscoring the Cal 21-3. They hit five threes in the run including two from Bettencourt.
San José State plays Cincinnati, who lost to Creighton 63-52, on Saturday at 5:00 p.m. in the tournament's consolation final.
San Jose State vs #14/14 California
11/28/14 5:30 pm at Berkeley, CA (Haas Pavilion)
At Berkeley, CA (Haas Pavilion)
#14/14 CALIFORNIA 110, SAN JOSE STATE 87
SAN JOSE STATE (2-3)
Totals 31-91 14-23 87.
#14/14 CALIFORNIA (5-0)
GRAY, Reshanda 10-16 3-4 23; COWLING, Mikayla 8-11 0-0 18; GREEN, Gabby 7-11
0-0 17; RANGE, Courtney 6-11 2-6 14; BOYD, Brittany 3-4 4-6 11; JEFFLO,
Mercedes 4-9 0-0 9; DAVIDSON, Penina 4-10 1-2 9; SHINE, Brittany 4-8 0-0 9;
WATERS, KC 0-0 0-0 0; HARTMAN, Justine 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 46-81 10-18 110.
San Jose State................ 35 52 - 87
#14/14 California............. 61 49 - 110
California 8-19 (GREEN, Gabby 3-5; COWLING, Mikayla 2-4; JEFFLO, Mercedes
1-2; SHINE, Brittany 1-5; BOYD, Brittany 1-1; DAVIDSON, Penina 0-1; RANGE,
Courtney 0-1). Fouled out--San Jose State-None, #14/14 California-None.
Rebounds--San Jose State 44 (Woodberry, Rebecca 10), #14/14 California 58
(BOYD, Brittany 13). Assists--San Jose State 16 (Baker, Aniya 4), #14/14
California 34 (BOYD, Brittany 12). Total fouls--San Jose State 16, #14/14
California 18. Technical fouls--San Jose State-None, #14/14 California-None.