Cal’s young women’s basketball team experienced another painful lesson but continued to show promise in its 100-41 loss to No. 11 Oregon Sunday afternoon in Berkeley.
The top scorer for the winless Bears on Sunday – Michelle Onyiah (13 points on 6-of-8 shooting) – is a freshman, and 28 of Cal’s 41 points were scored by freshmen. Dalayah Daniels is the most polished Cal freshman, and she leads the Bears in scoring for the season, although she was limited to seven points on 3-for-15 shooting by the Ducks.
So there is hope for the Bears (0-10, 0-7 Pac-12) down the line, perhaps even later this season, but they were no match for Oregon, which ended a two-game losing streak while improving to 9-2 overall and 7-2 in the conference.
Cal’s biggest shortcomings have been protecting the ball and outside shooting, and they were issues again Sunday. Cal entered the game ranked 333rd among the 336 Division I teams in turnovers, averaging 23.1 per game, and they committed 23 on Sunday compared with just five for Oregon. The Bears started the day ranked 334th in three-point shooting percentage at 18.1 percent, and their 1-for-16 performance from long range Sunday did not help.
Cal’s perimeter game would be a lot better if Jazlen Green, Cailyn Crocker and Alma Elsnitz were not out for the season with injuries. They would probably be Cal’s best three-point shooters if they were available.
As it is, Cal must rely on its post players, which puts a lot of pressure on them
Cal was very much in Sunday’s game in the early going. The Bears trailed 18-15 and had a chance to tie the game with three free throws with 3:10 left in the first quarter. But the Bears missed all three, and from that point, Oregon outscored Cal 41-4 over a span that ended three minutes into the third quarter.
The 59-point loss represented Cal’s largest margin of defeat this season.
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