Seniors Brittany Boyd and Reshanda Gray powered the fourth-seeded Golden Bears to a 68-55 win over Colorado and into Sunday’s championship game of the Pac-12 women’s basketball tournament against Stanford.
The rivals square off at 6 p.m. in an ESPN game with the league’s automatic NCAA tournament bid on the line.
Boyd had 18 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and four steals and Gray had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Bears (23-8).
Cal turned 16 Colorado turnovers into 20 points.
Senior guard Brittany Boyd had 20 points and 11 rebounds for her 11th double-double of the season and the fourth-seeded Golden Bears (22-8, 13-5) beat No. 5 Washington 69-53 in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 tournament at Seattle.
Cal will play Saturday in the semifinals against No. 9 Colorado, which upset top-seeded Oregon State 68-65. It’s potentially a break for the Bears, who easily beat Colorado 75-59 this season, but lost 73-55 at Oregon State just last week.
The Bears and Buffaloes tip off at 8:30 p.m. on the Pac-12 Networks.
It’s the eighth time in nine years the Bears have reached the semifinals of the conference tournament.
Mercedes Jefflo scored 16 points and Reshanda Gray had 13 points and nine rebounds.
The Bears limited Washington (23-7, 11-7) to 32-percent shooting and forced 18 turnovers.
San Jose native Jazmine Davis scored 21 points to lead the Huskies.
Cal trailed 19-12 before using a 12-0 run to take the lead.
A preview of Cal’s trip to Seattle for the Pac-12 women’s tournament, courtesy of staff wrier Elliott Almond:
CAL PAC-12 TOURNAMENT PREVIEW
RECORD: 21-8 overall, 13-5 in Pac-12. Tied for third with Stanford.
NEXT OPPONENT: Quarterfinals at 8:30 p.m. Friday against the winner of Thursday night’s first-round game between fifth-seeded Washington and No. 12 Utah.
CAL UPDATE: The fourth-seeded Golden Bears have one of the conference’s best teams, led by All-Pac-12 seniors Reshanda Gray (Pac-12 player of the year) and Brittany Boyd (Naismith Award semifinalist). Also, Mikayla Cowling and Gabby Green were named to the all-Pac-12 freshman team. Cal, though, might have two big hurdles to reach the championship Sunday in Seattle. It possibly could play hometown favorite Washington (22-8) and then top-seeded Oregon State, which defeated the Bears 73-55 in the regular-season finale last weekend. “Overall, our program is at the point where we want to win championships,” coach Lindsay Gottlieb said. “So there is a little disappointment” in tying for third in the regular-season standings.
However, Gottlieb said the competitive Pac-12 campaign prepared Cal for the postseason. “We have a team when things are clicking we can be really good,” she said. “This could be one of our best March runs.”
Senior forward Reshanda Gray became the second Cal women’s player voted Pac-12 Player of the Year.
Gray joins Devanei Hampton, who won the award in 2007.
Meanwhile, teammate Brittany Boyd earned first-team all-conference honors for the third straight season. Boyd also was named to the all-defensive team.
Gray averaged 18.1 points and 7.2 rebounds for the Bears, shooting 57.6 percent from the field. Her 37 points against Sacramento State are the most scored by a Pac-12 player this season.
Cal’s Mikayla Cowling and Gabby Green were voted by the league’s coaches to the all-freshman team. Mercedes Jefflo was named honorable mention all-defensive team.
Scott Rueck of regular-season champion Oregon State was voted Pac-12 Coach of the Year.
Cal senior point guard Brittany Boyd has been named one of 10 semifinalists for the Naismith Trophy National Women’s College Player of the Year honor.
Boyd is the only Pac-12 player and the only player west of Texas to be selected as a semifinalist for the award, given to the top player in the country. The four finalists will be unveiled on Friday, March 20, and the winner will be announced on Monday, April 6.
The Berkeley High grad is averaging 13.1 points, 7.7 rebounds, 7.1 assists and 3.0 steals. She is the nation’s only player with two triple-doubles, she ranks seventh nationally in assists and is the NCAA active leader with 353 steals. Her 19 rebounds against Sacramento State are the most by a guard from a “power five conference.”
Boyd is the only active NCAA player — and the only player in Pac-12 history — to compile career totals of at least 1,400 points, 700 rebounds, 600 assists and 300 steals.
Boyd also was named to the Wade Trophy (WBCA), Wooden Award (Los Angeles Athletic Club), Nancy Lieberman Award and Dawn Staley Award midseason watch lists.
Other semifinalists for the Naismith Trophy are: Lexie Brown, Maryland; Nina Davis, Baylor; Moriah Jefferson, Connecticut; Jewell Loyd, Notre Dame; Kelsey Mitchell, Ohio State; Tiffany Mitchell, South Carolina; Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Connecticut; Breanna Stewart, Connecticut; and Amanda Zahui B., Minnesota.
The Pac-12 Networks will air a feature segment Monday night on the Cal women’s basketball duo of Reshanda Gray and Brittany Boyd, known to their teammates and fans as “Cornflakes and Milk.”
Which is which?
To find out, watch this tease of the story or tune in at 9 tonight to check out the Pac-12 Sports Report on Pac-12 Networks.
For your Friday Cal reading enjoyment . . .
— Check out staff writer Andrew Baggarly’s story about Jeff Kent’s Cal connection to a Giants’ third-base prospect.
— The women’s basketball team earns coach Lindsay Gottlieb her 100th victory at Cal.
— The Bears’ women swim team continues to dominate at the Pac-12 meet.
Here are links to several stories we have today that relate to current or former Cal athletes:
— Running back Marshawn Lynch is close to releasing his film, “Family First: The Marshawn Lynch Story.” Click here to see the movie trailer.
— Former Cal placekicker Giorgio Tavecchio signs with the Oakland Raiders.
— Cal and Stanford guards are the headliners among top women’s basketball players in the Bay Area.
Reshanda Gray had 17 points and nine rebounds, leading the Cal women to a 63-53 win over No. 18 Stanford at Maples Pavilion. The win ended Stanford’s 14-year reign as Pac-12 champion.
The victory also avenged a 59-47 defeat at Berkeley on Wednesday in which the Bears shot just 11 percent in the second half.
Mercedes Jefflo added 15 points and Brittany Boyd had 12 points and 13 rebounds for her ninth double-double of the season as the Bears (20-7, 12-4) moved into a tie for third place in the Pac-12 standings with Stanford, clinching a first-round bye in the Pac-12 tournament.
The Bears have beaten the Cardinal twice in three years on the road, including the 67-55 win in 2013 that snapped Stanford’s 81-game conference winning streak.
The victory was the 99th for Lindsay Gottlieb at Cal.
Cal outscored Stanford 13-2 at the free throw line and forced 17 turnovers.
Here is staff writer Elliott Almond’s preview of the two-game series this week between the Cal and Stanford women’s basketball teams.
The rivals clash tonight at Haas Pavilion, then again Sunday at Stanford.