Cal Women's Basketball: Asha Thomas Injured in Bears' Win Over Northridge

Asha Thomas was injured SundayPhoto by Kirby Lee - USA TODAY Sports

Cal's starting guard left the game in the third quarter with a knee injury

No. 15 Cal eased to a 67-42 victory over Cal State Northridge on Sunday at Haas Pavilion to improve to 7-0, but the more significant news had to do with Asha Thomas.

The Bears' starting point guard had to be carried off the court in the third quarter after suffering a knee injury. The severity of the injury was not known immediately after the game.

"No medical update," Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb said afterward. "We hope and pray everything is fine."

Thomas is the team's No. 2 scorer at 12.0 points a game heading into Sunday's game. She also had a team-leading 30 assists before the game against CSUN (4-5). She had one assist and no points Sunday before the injury.

The Bears coaches and players huddled around Thomas in the locker room after the game, providing support as she was being examined by medical personnel.

Kristine Anigwe, who collected 26 points and 10 rebounds in just 19 minutes of playing time on Sunday, called Thomas the "heart and soul of our team."

The Bears have quite a bit of talent in the backcourt, but Thomas is a critical part of the plan.

"Our team is going to be fine no matter what," Gottlieb said.

Kianna Smith added 14 points for the Bears against CSUN, but it was Anigwe who again led the team.

"Kristine just continues to show she is the best post player in the country at both ends of the court," Gottlieb said.

The only thing that slowed her down Sunday was foul trouble.

Anigwe scored Cal's first 12 points of the game, and she scored her 14th point in the final minute of the first quarter, giving Cal a lead it never lost.

It was midway through that first quarter that Anigwe became the third player in Cal basketball history -- male or female -- to reach 2,000 career points. She is just the 20th Pac-12 women's player to reach that mark and joins former Cal player Colleen Galloway (1978-81, 2,320 points) and Ashley Walker (2006-09, 2,142) on the list.

"I'm really in a daze," Anigwe said afterward, "because I never thought about 2,000 when I came here. It's crazy."

However, the Bears led by just three at halftime, causing Gottlieb to cajole her players with what was apparently a stern halftime talk.

"It's was really just 'Step up, play better,'" Gottlieb said.

The Bears responded by scoring the first 17 points of the third quarter.

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