Cal women beat UCLA to end SoCal road trip
The Cal women’s basketball team won in thrilling fashion, 58-57, over UCLA at Pauley Pavilion on Sunday. Cal forward Ami Forney scored on a layup after taking an inbounds pass from Courtney Johnson under the Golden Bear basket with 3.5 seconds on the clock to provide the visitors with the winning margin.
UCLA’s Kristee Porter misfired on a running shot from just outside the Bruin free throw line as the final buzzer sounded.
Cal built a 32-21 halftime advantage after holding the Bruins to just two points over the final 4:08 of the period, while breaking a 19-all tie with a 13-2 run.
In the second half, the Golden Bears upped their margin to 38-23 with16:17 to play on a basket by guard Kenya Corley. UCLA stepped up its defense and held Cal scoreless for almost six minutes, until 10:33 remained on the clock, and narrowed the margin to 38-36 on a layin by center Malika Leatham.
The Bruin momentum helped them to take their biggest lead of the game at 47-42, with 5:51 on the clock. Corley then hit a three-point shot for Cal to break the ice and narrow the gap to 47-45.
After the teams tied at 47-all with 4:52 to play, there were seven lead changes down the stretch. Brook Coulter’s three-point shot for Cal put the Bears ahead 56-54 with 59 seconds to play. UCLA’s Michelle Greco answered by hitting a pair of free throws at the 35 second mark to tie the game at 56.
Natalie Nakase forced a Bear turnover on the next possession and was fouled with 20 seconds on the clock. Nakase made the first attempt but missed the second of the two-shot bonus situation, and Cal grabbed the rebound for a final chance at a win.
The Bears failed to connect on an outside shot on the following possession, but managed to get the rebound. Their attempt at a follow shot was blocked out of bounds by UCLA’s Whitney Jones with five seconds on the clock, setting the stage for Forney’s game-winner.
Greco led UCLA, now 3-17, 2-7, with 18 points for the game. Corley paced Cal with a game-high 25 points.