Stanford has reigned for so long every other Pac-12 Conference women’s basketball team only hopes to hang around each season. It had been almost four years since the Cardinal last lost against a conference opponent.
Lindsay Gottlieb mentioned that 81-game conference winning streak to her gritty Cal crew this week after Stanford beat the Golden Bears on Tuesday night. Five days later, it was Cal’s turn — this time on Stanford’s home floor.
Gennifer Brandon had 14 points and 12 rebounds and No. 7 Cal snapped fifth-ranked Stanford’s long conference winning streak with a commanding 67-55 victory Sunday in the second meeting between the Bay Area rivals in six days.
“We’re thrilled to have gotten this win,” Gottlieb said. “I think the way it feels for us, first and foremost, speaks to how good Stanford is and their consistency of excellence.”
Gottlieb gathered her Cal players for a full-on movie outing — popcorn, candy, the works.
Well, sort of. The second-year Cal coach broke down film to the minute from her team’s nine-point home loss to Stanford earlier in the week, making sure the Bears were much better prepared for the second meeting.
They were motivated, all right, from the moment they stepped onto the court at Maples Pavilion. From every crash to the offensive boards, to every loose ball and made 3-pointer.
Brittany Boyd added 19 points while Layshia Clarendon had 14 to help the Bears beat a top-five opponent for the first time since a 66-52 victory against No. 2 Rutgers on Nov. 22, 2008.
Mikayla Lyles scored 11 of her career-best-matching 14 points over the final 6:04 of the first half as Cal (13-2, 3-1 Pac-12) took control on the way to snapping Stanford’s 10-game winning streak in the series and three-year run of dominance against the conference.
The Bears earned just their fourth victory in the last 46 meetings with Stanford (14-2, 3-1) — even more special now that both are among the nation’s top 10.
They might just swap spots in the next poll now.
Chiney Ogwumike had 18 points and nine rebounds as Stanford dropped consecutive home games for the first time in 12 years.