The Cal women’s basketball team squandered a big lead but recovered to defeat Fresno State, 62-55, Wednesday night at Haas Pavilion.
Cal’s record improves to 3-0 on the season for the first time since 1994-95, while the Bulldogs fall to 3-1.
“Fresno State actually took the lead, and we were a little flustered, but I think we regained our composure,” said Cal head coach Caren Horstmeyer. “Once they took a one-point lead, we then were able to come back, score and then we built our lead again. I think that shows a lot of character, again, on the part of our team.”
Strong second-half play by Cal forward Leigh Gregory, who tied teammate Ami Forney with a game-high 14 points, helped to secure the win. Aritta Lane and Laura Garcia each scored 13 to lead the Bulldogs.
Cal built its first-half lead thanks in large part to tough defense on Fresno State star Lindsay Logan, with Cal’s Amber White blanketing her for most of the night. Logan entered the match scoring 21.7 points per game, but Cal held Logan scoreless with six turnovers through the first 20 minutes. The Golden Bears led 22-5 with 7:48 left in the half behind Forney’s 10 first-half points and held their biggest lead at 20 at 32-12 with 2:06 to play. They led 32-15 at the half.
The Bears shot 51.9 percent in the first half with Forney leading the way with a 5-for-7 performance. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs shot just 21.7 percent.
The second half was a completely different story. Fresno State picked up its defense and Cal shot just 26.9 percent. The Bulldogs shots began falling for a 44.8 percent second-half shooting percentage.
Fresno State went on a 26-8 run to open the period and took a 41-40 lead with a three-point play by Lane with 9:53 remaining. Overall, the Bulldogs led three times at 2-0, 41-40 and 43-42. Forney sat out most of the run after she picked up her fourth foul just 3:08 into the half.
Three-point shots from Garcia, who hit two from downtown, and Logan, who hit one, helped the Bulldogs claw their way back in the second half. Logan finished with eight points.
Clutch baskets and free throws by Gregory sealed the victory. Cal scored its final six points from the line, including the last three from Gregory.