The Lady Eagles opened the Las Vegas Tournament in a loss against No. 24 California, one of eleven teams undefeated in the NCAA.
For the second game in a row the Lady Eagles could not overcome size mismatches, and this time was against Cal who has seven players over 6’2.
The Lady Eagles held strong at the start of the game by battling back early from a 6-0 deficit. They went on a 9-2 run to give them their only lead of the night, 9-8.
After that, Cal controlled the game as they went on an 8-0 run giving them back the lead, and the Lady Eagles managed to keep Cal within six points at the end of the first period, 18-11.
Yet, they were no match for Cal’s defensive presence as they were held to just eight points in the second period ending the half at 36-19.
The Lady Eagle’s leading scorer Brittanny Dinkins was kept in check after being held to only eight points and Megan Browns scored a season-high and team-leading 12 points.
“I thought Megan Brown was absolutely amazing,” Head Coach Joy Lee-McNelis said. “I mean she really fought extremely hard and battled with everything she had in her power.”
The Lady Eagles kept up with Cal offensively in the third period scoring 19 points to Cal’s 24, but the damage had been done with Cal holding the lead, 60-38. Cal eventually played their bench for the remainder of the game which allowed the Lady Eagles to outscore them in the fourth period ending the game, 71-51.
Cal’s Courtney Range totaled 28 points and Kristine Anigwe, who was 7-for-7 on field goals, totaled 18 points. The size difference was an obvious problem for the Lady Eagles as they were out rebounded 30-46 and outscored in the paint 34-20.
“I was just a tough day for us,” Lee-McNelis said. “We did some good things we played hard but again we were outsized and outmatched in every area of the game”
The Lady Eagles face Xavier in day two of the Las Vegas tournament on Dec. 20.