NCAA

Cal women's season comes to an end with loss to Irish

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Cal women's season comes to an end with loss to Irish

BOX SCORE

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Notre Dame stayed cool at halftime. No big speeches needed. The top-seeded Irish knew they were in a struggle with a good team and had to do something to get themselves and their home crowd into the game."We knew what we needed to fix and we just came out and did it," Irish forward Devereaux Peters said.They did it with defense, making five steals in the first four minutes of the second half and using a 10-2 run to get some distance. They rode that surge to a 73-62 victory Tuesday night that sends them into the round of 16 at the NCAA tournament."We were getting outworked," star guard Skylar Diggins said. "And we had to pick up our hustle a little bit."Coach Muffet McGraw wanted her team to be more aggressive, especially against Cal's big and talented front line."We knew this would be a challenge. They gave us everything we could handle," McGraw said."We talked about helping out and attacking the ball a little bit more. I thought it was pretty effective," she said. "We put more pressure on the ball."Their defense swung the game early in the second half and got the Golden Bears a bit rattled. Another major factor was the Irish's effectiveness at the free throw line where they made 26 of 33.Natalie Novosel made 18 of 20 free throw attempts to finish with 28 points. Diggins had 15 of her 21 points in the second half and Peters had 11 points, 14 rebounds and a career-high seven blocks."Shots weren't falling for me at first, so I just started attacking the basket and was able to get confidence there," Novosel said.The Golden Bears stayed close in the opening half with tough defense, a deep bench and poise as they refused to be bothered by Notre Dame's partisan and loud home crowd. Then it all changed quickly in the opening minutes of the second half."I think Notre Dame feeds of the crowds and gets better. I didn't feel like our mistakes came from panic. I think it came when the other team was able to do things that rattle you," Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb said." There is no question we got a little bit rattled and made some mistakes that changed the tempo of the game at the beginning of the second half."Cal (25-10) got 17 points from Layshia Clarendon and 15 from Reshanda Gray. But the Golden Bears were hurt by 19 turnovers, 12 in the second half."They just didn't steal the ball, we also threw it to them a number of times," Clarendon said. "We lost our composure. ... We've faced pressure all year, we've faced zone and we've faced ranked teams. I think it was us more than them, taking crazy and quick shots and not playing how we know how to play."Novosel, who had 17 points by half, shot just 5-for-18 from the field but made the most of her frequent trips to the line. Notre Dame finished 26-for-33 from the line to only 7-for-14 for Cal in the rough and physical game.It is Notre Dame's 10th trip to the round of 16 in the last 16 seasons under coach McGraw.Notre Dame came out with a quick 8-2 run in the first two minutes of the second half as Diggins scored four points and Kayla McBride hit a layup after making a steal. After a timeout, McBride made another steal and Brittany Mallory drove for a lefty layup and a 41-33 lead.The Irish came up with five steals in the first four minutes of the second half as Cal suddenly had trouble handling the ball and the crowd at the Purcell Pavilion erupted.Peters made two free throws for a 10-point lead and the Golden Bears stayed close because of two clutch jumpers by Clarendon.Diggins then went high to tip a Cal inbounds pass and drove for a layup make it a 12-point. And when the Notre Dame star went hard to the basket on another break attempt, she got knocked to the floor by Clarendon.And after officials reviewed the video it was ruled a flagrant. Diggins hit one of two free throws, Notre Dame retained possession and McBride hit a 3-pointer to push the lead to 54-37 with 12:17 left.Cal rallied and cut it to nine points four times, including a final time with 25 seconds to go but their gritty comeback attempt fell short. Gennifer Brandon had 12 rebounds for the Golden Bears.Cal shot 46 percent in the first half and held Notre Dame to 34 percent.Clarendon missed her first three shots before making four straight and scoring 10 points, including a pair of 3-pointers. Diggins also missed her first three attempts and had six first-half points.Cal had a late 8-0 run and took a two-point lead with just under a minute left before Novosel hit a jumper with about 30 seconds left that made it 31-31 at the half.Cal freshman Brittany Boyd, one of the stars in the Golden Bears' opening-round win over Iowa, picked up her third foul early in the second half and then her fourth about 11 and a half minutes left. She fouled out with 2:53 to go, scoring nine points in 22 minutes.

Pac-12 basketball teams near Barcelona terrorist attack safe

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AP

Pac-12 basketball teams near Barcelona terrorist attack safe

Men's basketball teams from Oregon State, Clemson and Arizona were staying at a hotel in Barcelona, Spain, near where a van drove into pedestrians on Thursday, but team officials said everyone was safe.

Spanish police have confirmed they are investigating the bloodshed in Barcelona's historic Las Ramblas district as a terror attack. The area is a popular summer tourist spot.

Tulane also was playing in Barcelona, but it was unclear if they were staying in the same hotel as the other teams.

Oregon State assistant coach Gregg Gottlieb posted to Facebook: "We are all luckily ok. Our hotel/restaurant is located right on Las Ramblas. This tragedy happened right in front of us as our team just sat down for pregame meal. Thoughts and prayers for all those that are were hurt."

The Beavers' game Thursday night was canceled. It was supposed to be the first of a five-game tour.

Clemson was scheduled to play Thursday night against a Spanish All-Star team.

"We've been in contact with our men's basketball program currently in Barcelona and the entire travel party is safe and secure. Their exhibition game for tonight has been cancelled and the team will return to Clemson as previously scheduled tomorrow morning. Our thoughts are with the people of Barcelona," the South Carolina school said in a statement.

Clemson coach Brad Brownell confirmed in a text to The Associated Press that the three teams were staying in the same hotel.

"We are fine. Thankful to be safe and together," Brownell wrote.

Tulane athletic director Troy Tannen confirmed via social media that the Green Wave players and staff were safe.

Replying to a Twitter inquiry from a Portland television about whether the team was OK, Oregon State head coach Wayne Tinkle responded: "Yes we are, happened directly in front of our hotel while we were having a team meal in the restaurant, so senseless and sad! All accounted4."

Oregon State said it has not yet determined the remaining schedule for the team, which was supposed to be on the exhibition tour until Aug. 25.

A spokesman for Arizona said the Wildcats have canceled their third and final exhibition of their tour and "are currently working on travel plans to return home."

The future of Cal athletics, or lack thereof

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USATSI

The future of Cal athletics, or lack thereof

Your education dollars are always at work, so it is with pride and bewilderment that we report that the University of California’s incoming class (2021, for those few who can get out in four years) marched to Memorial Stadium and formed the world’s largest human letter.
 
It was . . . wait for it . . . a “C.” A 7,196-person-strong “C.”
 
But the school, as it occasionally does, missed a golden opportunity to seize a golden opportunity. All they needed to do was have a quick whip-round, get $55,586.44 from each and every one of the captives . . . er, students, and they could have wiped out their entire athletics deficit in one night.
 
You see, while forming gigantic letters is always fun (or as the kids used to say when double negatives didn’t mean voting, never not fun), Cal is staring at quite possibly the bleakest future a major athletic university ever has. The athletic department, whose chief officer, Mike Williams, has just announced his intention to quit, is over $400 million in debt between construction costs, ambition, shrinking allegiance and the absence of a Phil Knight-level sugar daddy to buy the pain away.
 
And before you blame Williams, he inherited this indigestible planetoid from his predecessor, Sandy Barbour, who grew it from her predecessor, Steve Gladstone, and hastened it from . . . well, you get the drift. 
 
Cal’s been blowing through money it hasn’t been taking in for years upon years, didn’t realize the deficit-cutting benefits of the Pac-12 Network (because they largely don’t exist), and the day of reckoning looms closer and closer, especially now that new chancellor Carol Christ (no apparent relation) described the deficit as “corrosive” and has insisted that the athletic department have a balanced budget by 2020.
 
In short, the school may only be able to afford a lower-case “C” before too long. Maybe in comic sans.