Sorry Twist. I’m not very angry, so you won’t find a tirade in this post (let’s talk about ucla’s latest
creation imitation if you really want to get me ranting). Maybe by holding my tongue at the game, I bottled up the frustration and, like Kramer, it’s just waiting for an opportune time to come out (the men are playing in Palo Alto tonight and will almost definitely lose to Johnson & Johnson? Sounds perfect!)
Serenity now…insanity later
I was also subdued because early yesterday morning, I woke up hyperventilating from the worst nightmare I’ve had in a while: Tedford was leaving Cal. I remember saying "This is all that I care about; why can’t I have it?!" before waking up, short of breath. Alright, maybe there is such a thing as being too devoted, and hopefully this dream isn’t an accurate predictor like some of my previous ones. Regardless, I think I was too relieved upon waking and realizing that Tedford is still our coach to get very angry about anything yesterday, even a hearbreaking two point loss to our yuppie rivals. I also found therapy in Cal football, with a thrilling triple overtime victory over Florida State. You’ll be happy to know that, after throwing 8 interceptions in a road loss to USC in 2008, Kevin Riley rebounds in 2009 and leads Cal in back to back victories over then undefeated and #1 ranked USC and 1 loss Florida State. Darian Hagan also continues to impress, icing the victory while breaking his own school record with a timely interception in the third overtime. It would have been nice to win a real game instead of an xbox one, but as a Cal fan, you’ll take what you can get.
I guess the real reason there’s no rage here is that, as opposed to the men’s game last month, there wasn’t much to be mad about. TwistNHook did a nice job recaping the various statistical shortcomings which led to the loss; the ones which stood out to me are free throws (11-19) and three point shooting (3-18). These issues stood out particularly in comparison to Stanford, which was 11-13 from the stripe before missing 3 in the final minute, and was 9-21 from behind the arc. Turnovers (14) were a problem, especially for Vital who forced a number of passes into the heart of the defense, but turnovers have been a problem for Cal all year and the women actually did a better job protecting the ball yesterday than they typically do. Boyle mentioned that she felt the team rushed its final possessions, which I agree with, but they were able to get the ball inside and draw some contact.
This is all true, but Cal lost because of soon to be all time Pac-10 leading scorer Candice Wiggins. The score tied at 56 with 3 minutes left, Wiggins (Pac-10 POY 2005-06) stole the ball from Devanei Hampton (Pac-10 POY 2006-07) and coasted to an easy layup. Then, with barely a minute left, Wiggins buried a tough 12 footer to put the furd up by 2 scores. That was the game. Simply put, Wiggins has bigger
balls ovaries than anyone else on the floor. With the game on the line, Vital missed an easy layup, Cal failed to score on numerous occasions, and Stanford missed the front end of 3 straight one-and-ones. We can analyze the stats all we want but down the stretch, no one could produce except Wiggins. They had a Baron, and we did not.
That said, Cal was EXTREMELY close to taking this game. Cal was up 3 at 56-53 following a 10-0 run when Stanford nearly threw the ball into their own bench. An impressive leap by a furd freshman saved the ball, and the ended up scoring a 3 point play on the possession (how you can call that touch foul on Dev while not calling to contact on the other end on Cal’s final possessions I don’t know, but other than that, the officials were fine.) If that ball had ended up going out of bounds, my guess is that Cal wins. And next year, with everyone back for Cal and Wiggins off to the (W)NBA, you have to consider Cal the Pac-10 favorite.
It sucks to lose, but if you’re a fan of the lady bears or women’s basketball in general, you have to be happy with this: there were more people at the game yesterday than at the Cal-Stanford MEN’S game at Haas. That might say more about the differences between our men’s and women’s teams than any record or game statistic could.