Two Cal players broke major school records over the weekend, but it was a disappointing three days for the Bears nonetheless.
Cal senior Kristine Anigwe became Cal’s career scoring leader in Friday’s loss to No. 3 Oregon, and she broke the school record for career rebounds on Sunday in an 82-74 loss to No. 7 Oregon State at Haas Pavilion.
Asha Thomas also set a significant Cal record on Sunday, breaking the mark for three-pointers made in a career. She connected on five shots from long distance against the Beavers, all in the second half, to surpass Alexis Gray-Lawson’s mark of 211 three-pointers made from 2006 to 2010. Thomas’ perimeter scoring in the fourth quarter gave the Bears a chance to win the game.
But Cal (14-9, 5-7 Pac-12), which led by as many as 11 points in the second quarter and was within two points late in the game, failed to make the critical plays down the stretch of the eight-point loss to the Beavers (20-4, 10-2).
It was Oregon State's eighth straight win over Cal, which finished its challenging stretch of four consecutive games against top-10 teams with a 1-3 record.
“We just went through the toughest stretch of four games, I think, by statistical numbers that any team will have in the country all year,” Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb said. “And yet-- and I say this with the utmost respect for the teams we played against--we’re disappointed. We’re not happy to get (just) one out of the four.
“That’s saying we know how good they are, and yet we had a chance to win the game at home, and that’s what our goal was. . . . I think it has made us hungrier to do what we need to do in the six final regular-season games.”
Anigwe finished with 31 points and 18 rebounds. She broke the rebounding record with her third rebound Sunday, surpassing the mark of 1,219 boards established by Gennifer Brandon from 2009 to 2014. Anigwe tied Brandon’s mark with 6:21 left in the first quarter, then quickly broke it with a defensive board with 5:44 remaining in the period.
“A dominating force in Kristine Anigwe,” Oregon State coach Scott Rueck said afterward. “Competing against us for four years now, and you keep shaking your head, at the motor she has, the skill set. So it’s just doing everything you can to slow her down, which nobody has been able to do yet and nobody will.”
Oregon State had 6-foot-8 Joanna Grymek and 6-foot-7 Patricia Morris take turns guarding the 6-foot-4 Anigwe, and the Beavers also went to a zone for long stretches to minimize Anigwe’s space to maneuver inside. Anigwe still easily recorded her 24th consecutive double-double, including all 23 games this season.
Destiny Slocum had 26 points for Oregon State, who bounced back from a 61-44 loss at Stanford on Friday.
Oregon State entered the game with the second-best three-point shooting percentage in the country, and it won despite making just 5 of 17 from long range on Sunday. It was a Beavers surge at the end of the second quarter that changed the game.
Cal was ahead by 11 points on several occasions in the second quarter, but the Beavers outscored the Bears 11-2 over the final 4:21 of the period to reduce the Cal lead to 37-35 at halftime.
Slocum had eight points in the final eight minutes of the half, and her penetration led to a number of buckets for the Beavers as they closed the gap.
“Destiny is very urgent,” Anigwe said. “She realizes she’s down by 10 and she attacks and gets players open. And that’s what they did. They didn’t let us feel like we had any edge on them even though they were down by 10. I think defensively moving forward we need to be more aggressive, and understand that, do our game plan and stick with it.”
Slocum had 13 first-half points, while Anigwe had 17 points and nine rebounds.
The Bears stayed close in the third quarter and the score was tied at 48-48 late in the third quarter before Beavers guard Aleah Goodman hit a three-pointer with 2:19 left in the quarter. That started an 11-1 Oregon State run that put the Beavers ahead by 10 with 49.9 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
Cal pushed back behind Thomas’ outside shooting and got within two points on a Thomas three-pointer with 4:16 left in the fourth quarter. The Bears were still behind by just two (76-74) when Anigwe made a follow shot with 1:46 to go, but the Bears did not score again.
A layup by Grymek off a Goodman feed made it a four-point game with 1:24 remaining, and the Bears committed a turnover on their next possession. After a shot-clock violation by the Beavers, Thomas missed a three-pointer with 22 seconds left and Goodman hit two free throws with 18 seconds left to seal it.
Cal next travels to Los Angeles for games against USC and UCLA.