Here is staff writer Elliott Almond’s preview of the Cal women’s NCAA tournament opener Saturday against Fresno State:
Lindsay Gottlieb expects Cal’s last game to help the Bears prepare for Fresno State in the NCAA tournament opener Saturday in Lubbock, Texas.
The Bears fell to UCLA 70-58 in the Pac-12 tournament semifinals while shooting a paltry 29.5 percent for the game and missing all 11 3-point shots in the first half.
“We talked about never being comfortable and understanding that great teams will come out and give us their best game — and we have to always be ready for that,” Gottlieb said.
Fresno State coach Raegan Pebley expects Cal (28-3) to be more than ready.
“They only lost three games and they’re still averaging in the 70s in points per game,” she said. “I have a hard time saying that they’re not a very good shooting team or on a downhill slide with their shooting percentages. You have to look at their body of work.”
Based on a season of success, the second-seeded Bears should roll over the No. 15 Bulldogs in a 1:20 p.m. game at United Spirit Arena.
But Fresno State (24-8) has plenty of postseason experience, playing in its sixth consecutive tournament. The undersized Bulldogs are looking for their first tournament victory against a team President Barack Obama has chosen to reach its first Final Four.
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