Cal women top Georgia, 65-62, head to first Final Four

California's Layshia Clarendon, left, leads teammate Afure Jemerigbe off the court after the team beat Georgia in overtime in a regional final in the NCAA women's college basketball tournament, Monday, April 1, 2013, in Spokane, Wash. Cal won 65-62. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

California’s Layshia Clarendon, left, leads teammate Afure Jemerigbe off the court after the team beat Georgia in overtime Monday in Spokane. Photo: AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

When Cal trailed by 10 points with seven minutes to go, naysayers may have hung their heads in despair. When a missed free throw failed to ice the game in regulation, doubters could continue to worry. But on a dramatic night in Spokane, the Cal women’s basketball team triumphed in overtime, topping the Georgia Bulldogs, 65-62.

The win by the second-seeded Bears took the team to the program’s first-ever Final Four. On Sunday in New Orleans, they’ll play the winner of Tuesday night’s game between Louisville and Tennessee. 

Cal was led by Layshia Clarendon with 25 points, 17 of them in the second half and overtime. Afure Jemerigbe had 14 points and Talia Caldwell 10. The Bears had a decisive rebounding advantage over Georgia, 54-41, which kept them in the game despite shooting only 34% from the floor and 50% from the free throw line.

Second-year coach Lindsay Gottlieb steered Cal to become only the second western US team after Stanford to make it to the women’s Final Four. “I knew this was possible,” Gottlieb told the San Francisco Chronicle. “I believe in this group more than ever.”

Brittany Boyd, a Berkeley role model, makes waves at Cal [03.29.12]

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  • Mbfarrel

    Roll on you Bears!!

  • Bill N

    It was a “heart attack” of a game but they pulled it out!!

  • Mark Rhoades

    GO BEARS!! What a game – What a season – What a Class A group of Seniors!

  • M.E. Lawrence

    (Thanks for the story, B’side.)

    It was a typical late-season Cal game: the first half a heart-pounding nightmare, and the second half heart-pounding heaven. My husband and I watched with dozens of other loudly cheering Cal WBB fans at Pappy’s (the former Larry Blake’s) on Telegraph. There’ll be another viewing party there on Sunday, when Cal faces either Louisville (who upset Baylor on Sunday) or Tennessee; join us!

  • Guest

    I just saw the game times 3:36PM West Coast time.

  • Bill N

    I just saw the game time posted – 3:36 West Coast time!