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No. 14 UCLA beats No. 5 California 70-58 in Pac-12

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 10, 2013 at 12:58 am •  Published: March 10, 2013

"I thought our guards handled the pressure and we got the ball in places that we wanted this time," Close said. "At Cal, we let their pressure get to us, even at our place as well. I'm not sure the game plan changed so much, it's more that we executed well at the beginning."

The Bruins led by as many as 26 — the biggest deficit California faced in any game this season. The 14 points in the first half for the Bears were a season-worst. Brittany Boyd led California with 18 points, but the Bears may have seen any hope of a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament come to an end.

"We didn't see this coming," Cal's Layshia Clarendon said after scoring 14 points on 6 of 22 shooting. "(The Bruins) were well-prepared. They gave us punches in the first half. You can't give a good team a 21-point lead; they're just too good."

Clarendon was part of a miserable shooting night for the Bears, especially the opening 20 minutes. California's horrific first half featured a stretch of nine straight missed shots during an 8-minute span without a field goal and zero ability to solve UCLA's zone defense. The Bears missed all 11 3-point attempts, shot just 20 percent and were dominated on the boards.

Clarendon was the most frustrated. The Bears' leading scorer got plenty of open looks, but missed eight of her final nine shots in the half. Eliza Pierre's steal and layup with 2:41 left in the half finally snapped the Bears shooting skid and that basket finally got California into double figures.

It didn't get much better in the second half. California missed its first 13 3-point attempts total before Boyd hit from deep with 14:45 remaining. By that point, the Bruins still led by 21 and the deficit never reached single-digits.

"We have to use this to help us and we will," California coach Lindsay Gottlieb said.