No. 9 seed Cal used a spurt over the closing minutes of the first half and the opening minutes of the second to take control of its first-round NCAA Tournament game against No. 8 Iowa and hung on to beat the Hawkeyes 84-74 on Sunday in South Bend, Ind.
Freshman point guard Brittany Boyd had 15 points, eight assists, six rebounds and six steals for the Golden Bears, who finished second in the Pac-12 Conference and are 25-9 heading into their second-round game against the Raleigh Regional’s top seed, Notre Dame. Cal will have to face the Irish on Notre Dame’s home court.
In all, five Cal players scored in double figures, including Layshia Clarendon’s game-high 16 points.
“I think what I am most proud of with our group is that we displayed what we feel like this Cal basketball team is all about, which is depth, versatility, heart and passion,” Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb said. “I think we had fun out there. It might have been our most complete game from start to finish.”
No player on the Cal roster had ever competed in an NCAA Tournament game before, and couple that with a noon start time (9 a.m. PDT), and it’s no wonder the Bears were a bit sluggish in the first 10 minutes. But it didn’t last forever, as Cal built up the lead as much as 16 in the second half.
“I was really nervous, and you could tell at the beginning of the game,” Boyd said. “But I just wanted to come into the game prepared.”
WHEN: Tuesday, 4 p.m.
WHERE: Purcell Pavilion, South Bend, Ind.