4-23, 2-13 Conf

No. 6 Cal earns school-record 12th straight win

BERKELEY, Calif. -- California is on the verge of a school-record winning streak, but more importantly the sixth-ranked Bears showed Friday night they can win without one of their top players.

Layshia Clarendon scored 14 points and Cal won its record-tying 12th straight with a 77-55 victory over Oregon.

Afure Jemerigbe added 13 points for the Bears (24-2, 14-1 Pac-12), who early on looked somewhat ragged offensively with starting point guard Brittany Boyd sitting out because of a strained groin.

But Cal started pulling away with a 12-2 run to close the first half en route to matching the record win streak set by the 2008-09 team. The Bears can break the mark against Oregon State on Sunday.

Jemerigbe came in averaging just 7.0 points, so her offensive contribution was big with Boyd out of the lineup.

"Brittany is a great player," Jemerigbe said. "She pushes the ball and makes the game a lot easier. With Brittany out, I knew I had to step up."

Jordan Loera and Ariel Thomas scored nine points each to lead the Ducks (4-23, 2-13).

Cal players were unimpressed, and seemingly unaware, that they can make history with a 13th straight victory.

"We didn't know about it," forward Talia Caldwell said. "We have Oregon State on Sunday. That's all that matters."

Boyd, a sophomore who leads Cal in assists and ranks third in scoring at 12.5 points per game, sat among her teammates throughout the first half. She came out in the second half with her hair tied up and was sitting next to the coaches when play resumed, as though she'd be ready if needed.

She wasn't.

The Bears turned a nine-point halftime lead into an 18-point cushion midway through the second half and remained tied with Stanford atop the conference standings. If Cal wins its final three games, it will gain at least a share of its first ever Pac-12 title in women's basketball.

After shooting just 29 percent in the first half, the Bears improved to 55 percent (17 for 31) in the second half.

"We went into a shooting drought, and that zapped our energy a bit," said Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb. "But I thought we responded and came out with a great energy in the second half. And with our team, great energy often leads to good things happening."

Senior Eliza Pierre started at point guard for Cal with Boyd out.

Boyd's absence was apparent in the first half, as the Bears hit just 8 of their first 33 shots and looked disjointed offensively. Missing several good looks from the paint didn't help their cause.

Cal shot 29 percent (12 for 41) overall in the first half, but the Ducks were even worse at 23 percent (7 for 31).

Oregon, which trailed 10-0 and didn't score until 5 minutes in, took a 19-18 lead on Devyn Galland's free throw with 3:49 left in the first half. But Cal's closing run, highlighted by two 3-pointers from Mikayla Lyles and five points from Clarendon, gave the Bears a 30-21 lead at intermission.

The Ducks shot just 25.4 percent (15 for 59) for the game.