Brittany Boyd filled the stat sheet with 18 points, five assists, five steals and four rebounds in No. 8 California's 71-65 win over Northwestern.
Talia Caldwell netted 16 points to go with six boards for the Golden Bears (8-1), who have won two straight since dropping their first game of the season at Duke on Dec. 2.
Karly Roser recorded 16 points and seven assists for Northwestern (6-4), which has dropped four consecutive contests.
A pair of Lauren Douglas free throws cut the Wildcats' deficit to 59-58 with 2:13 left, but Cal netted the next five points to seal the outcome.
Caldwell split two free throws at the other end, and after Roser turned the ball over, Caldwell made a layup to make it 62-58. Kendall Hackney then missed a layup for Northwestern and Layshia Clarendon's jumper gave the Golden Bears a 64-58 edge with 45 ticks left.
The visitors sunk seven of their eight free throws down the stretch to secure the victory.
Cal took a slim 33-32 cushion into the locker room at halftime.