California 90, Fresno State 76: Early deficit poses no real problem for Bears

2013-03-24T00:00:00Z California 90, Fresno State 76: Early deficit poses no real problem for BearsThe Associated Press The Associated Press
March 24, 2013 12:00 am  • 

LUBBOCK, Texas - California coach Lindsey Gottlieb wondered when Fresno State would start to miss their three-pointers.

After the Bulldogs hit eight threes in the first half Saturday, their accuracy dropped off and they made just four in the second half.

Brittany Boyd scored 21 points and added a career-high 13 rebounds to lead second-seeded California past Fresno State 90-76 in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

No one was happier about Fresno State cooling off than Gottlieb.

"When they finally missed a three-pointer, I just turned and high-fived someone on the side," she said. "We started switching on every ball screen. We had our bigs guarding Ki-Ki (Moore) and (Taylor) Thompson. I told them this is not what we usually do, but let's make it work."

Layshia Clarendon added 19 points, and Gennifer Brandon had 17 points and 12 rebounds for California (29-3).

The Golden Bears fell behind early against the 15th-seeded Bulldogs but found their footing midway through the first half to advance to play South Florida on Monday.

Moore scored a career-high 33 points on 12-of-28 shooting, and Rosie Moult added 15 to lead Fresno State (24-9).

The Bulldogs kept it close with their three-point shooting, making 12 of 29 from beyond the arc. Moult hit 4 of 11, and Thompson hit 3 of 6 from three-point range.

California out-rebounded the Bulldogs 51-28. The Golden Bears scored 56 points in the paint and held the Bulldogs to 26.

"They're a very well-built team," Bulldogs coach Raegan Pebley said. "They've got perimeter players that you have to respect enough from the three-point line, they've got an inside game that is tremendous off the second chance, third chance, and fourth-chance opportunities, and that builds the perimeters' confidence."

The Golden Bears shared the Pac-12 regular-season title with Stanford and began their 16-game win streak by beating the Cardinal in Palo Alto, Calif.

Brandon said Boyd's rebounding was great.

"I don't know when the last time was (that Boyd out-rebounded me)," Brandon said. "I don't really pay attention to that, but she played beautiful, and we got off on her energy, and it was awesome. I love her as a point guard."

If the Golden Bears win their second-round game they will play in Spokane, Wash., and could possibly face Stanford for a third time this season in the regional semifinal.

Fresno State is still looking for its first NCAA tournament victory.

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