No. 6 California 72, Southern Cal 64

California pulled off its first win at Southern Cal in four

years. It wasn’t easy.

Layshia Clarendon scored 22 points and Brittany Boyd added 16 to

lead the Golden Bears to a 72-64 victory over the Trojans on

Sunday.

The Golden Bears also beat USC at home in overtime.

California (23-2, 13-1 Pac-12) remains tied for first-place in

conference with Stanford, which defeated UCLA on Sunday. The Golden

Bears, which defeated UCLA on Friday, has four Pac 12 games

remaining.

”I’m proud of our players,” said Golden Bears coach Lindsay

Gottlieb. ”It wasn’t easy but to come away with a sweep in LA is a

big deal. We played through the pressure and the difficult calls

down the stretch. This group is so focused and versatile,

especially on the road.”

California, which leads the nation in scoring averaging 71.9

points, improved to 10-1 on the road this season. The Golden Bears

are 16-0 this season when scoring 70 or more points.

USC (8-17, 5-9) lost its sixth straight, equaling its longest

losing streak of the season.

Clarendon made 9 of 17 shots, had four rebounds and three

assists and played all 40 minutes. Her basket and free throw

completed a three-point play that gave the Golden Bears a 66-59

lead with 1:32 to play.

”We moved the ball around and didn’t let them dictate the

game,” said Clarendon. ”For the most part I think we stuck to

what we wanted to do. We’re going home to play Oregon and we have

to focus on one game at a time.”

Brandon and Boyd made four free throws in the final 40 seconds

to help seal the win.

”We’re playing with a confidence right now,” Gottlieb said.

”We’re consistent with being the aggressor, attaching the paint

and we’re tough and competitive.”

By the virtue of their triumph the Golden Bears extended their

winning streak to 11 games – second longest in history – and

guarantees them a first round bye in the Pac 12 Tournament.

California also owns the longest current winning streak in the

conference.

California’s win gives them its first sweep of the Trojans since

2007-08 season. The Golden Bears have not lost a game since

dropping a 62-53 decision to Stanford on January 8th.

Afure Jemerigbe scored 11 points and Brandon pulled down 10

rebounds for the Golden Bears, which outrebounded he Trojans 46-35

in the game.

Cassie Harberts led USC with 20 points and Ariya Crook added

15.

The Golden Bears had a scary moment midway through the first

half. Boyd went down hard on a drive to the basket with 10:39 left

in the opening half. She left the game but returned shortly to nail

a 3-pointer and increase California’s lead to 29-20 with 7:48

left.

California shot 41.1 percent (23-56) and held the Trojans under

35 percent shooting in the game. Jemerigbe scored 10 points in the

first half as California led 38-29 at the break.