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Cal women hold on for 64-63 NCAA win over Fordham

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 22, 2014 at 9:36 pm •  Published: March 22, 2014

WACO, Texas (AP) — Brittany Boyd has already played in an unexpected NCAA Final Four for California.

The do-everything guard made sure the Golden Bears got off to a winning start in this year's NCAA tournament.

Boyd scored 16 of her 22 points after halftime, including the game-winning basket with 14 seconds left, and California survived for a 64-63 first-round victory over feisty Fordham on Saturday after Erin Rooney's final shot for the Rams came up short.

"The little runner at the end, that's something we practice. It wasn't something that we made up," said Boyd, who also had 10 assists and six rebounds. "They ran a ball screen for me. I seen I had the runner, so I shot it. Fortunately, it went in off the glass. I didn't call glass. It went in and we had to lock down for that next 14 seconds."

There were eight ties and nine lead changes in the second half, with the lead going back-and-forth three times in the final 31 seconds in a game with so much focus on two of the most versatile guards in the nation.

Afure Jemerigbe was fouled on a drive for Cal (22-9) with 31 seconds left, and made both free throws for a 62-61 lead for the No. 7 seed in the Notre Dame Regional.

Jemerigbe, along with Boyd a returning starter from Cal's national semifinal loss to Louisville last April, added 13 points. Reshanda Gray had 10 points and eight rebounds.

After Rooney drove for a layup against Boyd with 19 seconds left, Boyd responded with her go-ahead basket at the other end. The Rams called timeout to set up a final play for Rooney, who took the inbound pass from the left sideline with 10.8 seconds left, and dribbled across to the other side before her final shot.

Cal was prepared for that distinct possibility.

"We decided to switch everything, so we had (Reshanda) switch onto one of their best players. She locked her down and forced a really far shot," Jemerigbe said.

"The one thing we're most confident with is the switch-all at the end. We've done it a couple of other times," Golden Bears coach Lindsay Gottlieb said. "You always want to do what your players are most confident with. They were very confident down the stretch and made some big plays.

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