Waco, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Brittany Boyd registered 22 points and 10
assists and knocked down the game-winning bucket with 14.6 seconds left to
lift the California Golden Bears past the Fordham Rams, 64-63, in the first
round of the NCAA Tournament at the Ferrell Center.
It was Boyd's fourth double-double of the season for seventh-seeded Cal (22-9) and her 10 assists were a program record for an NCAA Tournament game. Afure Jemerigbe scored 13 points and Reshanda Gray tallied 10 points and eight rebounds for the Golden Bears, who will take on the winner of the Baylor/Western Kentucky matchup in the second round.
Erin Rooney put up 17 points, 10 boards and five assists for 10th-seeded Fordham (25-8), while Emily Tapio and Samantha Clark netted 15 points apiece.
Fordham outshot Cal from the field in the first half, 54.2 percent to 34.4 percent, but it only carried a two-point lead into intermission, 30-28. The Bears kept the game close by attempting eight more field goals than the Rams and by shooting 5-of-6 at the foul line.
The game was tight down the stretch, with the teams exchanging several leads and neither side pulling away by more than three over the final 17:32. After Cal grabbed a 62-61 lead with 31 seconds left following a pair of Jemerigbe free throws, Fordham surged ahead by one on a Rooney layup with 22 seconds to play. The Bears answered on their final possession with Boyd's game-winning jumper, and Rooney's last-second field goal attempt was off the mark for the Rams.
Cal won the turnover battle, 16-9, and converted Fordham's miscues into 14 points.