Athletics: Cal sweeps Pac-12 awards for football, basketball

A busy Monday on the awards front for Cal.

The Bears swept Pac-12 weekly awards in football and men’s and women’s basketball.

— Football: Jared Goff was named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week after passing for a season-high 453 yards and six touchdowns in the Bears’ 54-24 victory over Oregon State that gave the Bears a sixth victory and made them bowl eligible for the first time in four seasons. Goff was 26 of 37, and hit 22 of 25 attempts during one stretch.

— Men’s basketball: Tyrone Wallace was given the season’s first Pac-12 Player of the Week award following a 20-point, six-rebound, nine-assist stat line in Cal’s 97-65 season-opening win over Rice. Wallace, a senior point guard and all-Pac-12 selection, shot 9 for 12 from the field and his assist total was a career high. This was the fourth time over three seasons that Wallace has won the award.

— Women’s basketball: Courtney Range won the Pac-12 Player of the Week award after contributing 23 points to a win over Austin Peay, then 19 points and 13 rebounds to the Bears’ road win over then-No. 8 Louisville. Meanwhile, Kristine Anigwe won Pac-12 Freshman of the Week by averaging 15.0 points in the two victories.


Women’s basketball: Cal upbeat despite departures

Here is staff writer Elliott Almond’s report on the Cal women from Wednesday’s Pac-12 basketball media day in San Francisco. I will be attend the men’s event on Thursday:

Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb opened practice this month with a daunting realization: “OK, no Brittany and no Reshanda. What do we do now?”

Good question.

Gottlieb enters her fifth season at Berkeley with the challenge of replacing All-American point guard Brittany Boyd and Pac-12 player of the year Reshanda Gray.

The loss of the two graduated seniors has led to downgraded expectations. The Golden Bears were picked to finish tied with UCLA for fourth place in a preseason coaches poll announced Wednesday.

But Gottlieb isn’t concerned about prognostications. The Pac-12 has improved from top to bottom, and leading pick Oregon State returns four starters from a team that won 27 games last season.

“We have a young group that says this is just the beginning,” Gottlieb said at Pac-12 media day in San Francisco. “They are locked into meeting those challenges and being better than people expect us to be.”

Click here to read the rest of this story.


Women’s basketball: Guard Mercedes Jefflo dismissed from Cal team

Mercedes Jefflo, who would have been the leading scorer returning to the Cal women’s basketball team, has been dismissed from the program, the school announced Saturday without providing a reason.

The athletic department said it could not comment further on the matter, due to privacy laws. “We care deeply about Mercedes and wish her well,” the statement said.

A junior guard from Compton, Jefflo was third on the team in scoring at 10.1 points per game last season and led the Bears in 3-point field goals.


Women’s basketball: Brittany Boyd goes No. 9 to New York Liberty in WNBA draft; Reshanda Gray goes No. 16

Cal guard Brittany Boyd was chosen No. by the New York Liberty in the WNBA draft while teammate Reshanda Gray, regarded beforehand as a potential lottery pick, slipped to the second round. She was taken No. 16 by the Minnesota Lynx.

Boyd, a Berkeley High grad, is the second Cal player in three years to be selected in the first round of the WNBA draft.

Click here for the full story.


Women’s basketball: Texas ousts Bears

The Cal women’s season ended Sunday evening with a 72-66 loss to Texas in the second round of the NCAA tournament at Haas Pavilion.

The fourth-seeded Bears (24-10) for 22 points from Mercedes Jefflo and a near triple-double from senior guard Brittany Boyd. She finished with 15 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists.

Pac-12 Player of the Year Reshanda Gray fouled out in just 19 minutes after being held to seven points and three rebounds.

The fifth-seeded Longhorns (24-10) advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time in 11 years.

Jefflo’s 6-for-11 effort from the 3-point arc sparked a Cal attack that made 11 3-point baskets. But the Bears turned the ball over 20 times.


Women’s basketball: Bears cruise to victory

The Cal women won their NCAA tournament opener for the fourth straight year, beating Wichita State 78-66 at Haas Pavilion on Friday afternoon.

The fourth-seeded Bears (24-9) will play No. 5 seed Texas on Sunday. The Longhorns (23-10) beat Western Kentucky 66-64. Tipoff is 6 p.m. and the game will be aired on ESPN2.

Reshanda Gray led five Cal players in double figures with 22 points. She also had nine rebounds. Mercedes Jefflo added 14 points and Brittany Boyd had 12 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

Cal shot 52 percent and outrebounded the Shockers (29-5) by a 38-27 margin.


Women’s basketball: Bears fall short in title game

Cal lost 61-60 to 19th-ranked Stanford in the championship game of the Pac-12 women’s basketball tournament in Seattle.

The fourth-seeded Bears (23-9) fell short of winning their first Pac-12 tournament title. Third-seeded Stanford (24-9) won its 11th conference tournament crown and the league’s automatic NCAA tournament bid.

Both schools are expected to be first- and second-round NCAA tournament hosts. ESPN.com’s Charlie Crème had both projected as No. 4 seeds.

Cal played 13 first-half minutes without star senior point guard Brittany Boyd, who took an accidental elbow to her left cheek 4 minutes into the game and left the floor bleeding. She finished with seven points on 2-for-9 shooting, along with two rebounds, three assists and four steals in 27 minutes.

Likewise, senior forward Reshanda Gray was saddled with foul trouble and scored just six points in 29 minutes.

Stanford led by four points before Mercedes Jefflo made a 3-pointer for the Bears just before the final horn.

“That was a really good game. I thought Stanford was a little bit better than us in some critical moments and made some plays,” Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb said. “But we took a punch literally and figuratively — our leader and point guard goes out with blood gushing — and everybody else rallies and that was something I’m proud of.”

Courtney Range led Cal with 17 points, Jefflo scored 16 and Mikayla Cowling added 14. Taylor Greenfield scored a career-high 20 points for Stanford.