Saturday, April 3, 2010 – California capped a stellar run with its first postseason title in program history as it earned a 73-61 victory over Miami.
The Golden Bears (24-14) put the exclamation mark on their season in front of a loud home crowd that helped them celebrate a net-cutting that they will remember forever. Cal sent off the 2010 Frances Pomeroy Naismith award winner Alexis Gray-Lawson and two other seniors in style. Gray-Lawson, playing in her final collegiate home game, scored 17 points for Cal. She was named MVP for the tournament as she finished with 100 points, 15 rebounds, and 11 assists.
Cal’s DeNesha Stallworth, one of four freshmen who start for Cal, scored 21 points for the Bears. She finished with 94 points in the WNIT, and was named to the all-tournament team for her strong play in the paint.
Shenise Johnson scored 21 points for Miami (22-14), and finished with 130 points in the tournament. Teammate Riquna Williams scored 20 for the Hurricanes and ended her tournament run with 113 points.
The other two players named to the 2010 WNIT All-Tournament team are Nicolle Lewis of Illinois State and Veronica Hicks of Michigan. Lewis and Hicks led their teams to the semifinals of the tournament.
The Golden Bears won six games in claiming the WNIT title. They defeated UC Davis 74-69 in overtime; Utah 64-54; Oregon 71-57; BYU 76-50; Illinois State 61-45; and Miami. Their games against Oregon and Illinois State were won on the road.
Miami followed a similar route. The Hurricanes defeated Florida Gulf Coast 70-57; Florida 77-64; North Carolina A&T 84-77; Providence 73-65; and Michigan 76-59. Miami posted road wins against Providence and Michigan.
Saturday, April 3
California 73, Miami 61
Thursday, April 1, 2010 – California’s women’s basketball team out-rebounded and out-shot Illinois State on the way to a 61-45 victory over the host Redbirds in the semifinal round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament. The game was played in front of an Illinois State record-setting crowd of 6,075 fans.
Cal will host Miami, which earned a semifinal win Wednesday over Michigan, in the WNIT championship game at 11 a.m. PST/2 p.m. EST on Saturday, April 3. The game will be broadcast live on CBS College Sports.
Cal made 37.7 percent of its shots – below normal but above Illinois State’s 26.9 percent for the game. Cal controlled the boards, earning a 47-31 final advantage in rebounds. Four players scored in double figures for Cal: Alexis Gray-Lawson led all scorers with 23 points; Natasha Vital (13 points), DeNesha Stallworth (11 points) and Talia Caldwell (10 points) also were in double figures.
Illinois State (28-8), which tied a school record for most wins in a season, was led by Maggie Krick (12 points) and Amanda Clifton (10 points, 6 rebounds).
Thursday, April 1
Cal 61, Illinois State 45
Saturday, April 3
Miami at California, 2 p.m. EST