The Cal Bears, ranked No. 17 in the most recent Associated Press poll, scored the first nine points of the game and held off previously unbeaten Northwestern 65-51 at Haas Pavilion Sunday afternoon.
Reshanda Gray scored 23 points and had 10 rebounds for the Golden Bears (3-2) and Afure Jemerigbe added 16 points. Courtney Range had a game-high 13 rebounds for Cal and Mercedes Jefflo did damage on the defensive end with four steals.
Maggie Lyon paced the Wildcats (4-1) with 17 points. Nia Coffey had 10 rebounds and two blocked shots for Northwestern, Ashley Deary handed out six assists, Christen Inman had three steals and Alex Cohen also swatted a pair of shots.
Cal scored the first nine points before the Wildcats got on the board and led 13-2 after 5½ minutes. But Northwestern battled back to get within two points at 21-19 before the Golden Bears closed the first half strong to lead 32-25.
Cal then steadily pulled away from the Wildcats in the second half, leading by as many as 18 points.
The Golden Bears are off until after Thanksgiving. They will face Wake Forest (3-2) in the opening round of the Nugget Classic in Reno, Nev., on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. Pacific, then will play either Idaho (3-1) or host Nevada (2-2) on Saturday at either 5:30 or 8 p.m.