At the conclusion of Cal’s road trip to Arizona, the team finds itself 0-9 on the season. Although tonight’s game was a blowout 69-33 loss, there are some positives for the Bears to take away from the match.
While Cal has endured several anticlimactic losses this year, these games have offered a glimpse into Cal’s resiliency. For example, the Bears were only outscored by seven points in the second half and were able to log double-digit scoring outputs in the third and fourth quarters, which was a considerable improvement over their first half performance. In that first half, they were outscored by 29 points and could only muster 10 points against the Wildcats’ stifling defense.
Cal also displayed its rebounding prowess tonight by outrebounding Arizona and crashing the glass for eight offensive boards. Furthermore, the Bears had less fouls than the Wildcats, matched them in blocks and even shot better from three.
The Bears’ most productive players tonight were Evelien Lutje Schipholt and Dalayah Daniels, both of whom registered strong performances, with a combined total of 20 points, 16 rebounds, three blocks, three steals and four assists.
While there were some silver linings from tonight’s game, it was mostly an old-fashioned basketball beat down. The Wildcats got their way, forcing the Bears to cough up the ball 31 times. The home team also got 20 points from its bench tonight compared to Cal’s three, which shows Cal’s lack of depth due to injuries.
Furthermore, even though Arizona only shot 9.1% from three tonight, the team was still able to shoot an overall 30-59 from the field and put up a monstrous 50 points in the paint.
While losing to the No. 6 ranked team in the country is nothing to be ashamed of, there are still some areas that Cal could have easily controlled that would have led to a smaller margin of defeat.
For example, the blue and gold shot 6-15 from the free-throw line tonight, which comes out to 40%. While making all of their free throws would have not have won this game for the Bears, establishing better free throw shooting habits during games will certainly help this young group down the line.
Moreover, turning the ball over 31 times in a game is not ideal, regardless of the circumstances. While the Wildcats have an elite defense, they were only forcing about 16 turnovers per game before today’s game, which is essentially half of what they caused against the Bears.
Justin Kim covers women’s basketball. Contact him at email@example.com.