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BERKELEY, Calif. – Gennifer Brandon had 23 points and a career-high 26 rebounds, and No. 7 California held USC without a basket in overtime to beat the Trojans 71-63 on Thursday night.
The Golden Bears rallied from six points down in the final 1:42 of regulation before outscoring the Trojans 9-1 in the extra period. Brandon scored all six points to tie it then added a key block and also scored on a putback in overtime.
Layshia Clarendon added 27 points and six rebounds for Cal (14-2, 4-1 Pac-12), which looked sluggish early while coming off an emotional win over No. 6 Stanford four days earlier.
Kate Oliver had 10 points and 10 rebounds for USC (7-9, 4-1) and Cassie Harberts added 15 points.
Brandon did most of her damage in the final nine minutes of the second half. She scored 12 of Cal's final 18 points and finished 9 of 18 from the floor while grabbing 15 offensive rebounds.
The Bears needed every one of them after the Trojans controlled the tempo for nearly 35 minutes. USC packed its defense tight into the key, controlled the boards and kept Cal from getting much going in the interior.
Aliya Crook's 3-pointer with 2:43 remaining in the second half gave the Trojans a 58-53 lead. She later made two free throws with 1:42 left but USC went scoreless after that while Brandon scored six straight points to force overtime.
It was all Cal in the extra period.
Brittany Boyd took a short pass from Brandon and hit a fastbreak layup before Clarendon scored on a reverse layup. After Crook's free throw pulled USC to 66-63, Brandon scored on a putback and Clarendon followed with three free throws.
The Bears, who came in ranked third in the country in rebounding margin, were outworked on the boards and allowed the Trojans to build an 18-14 lead following a putback by Harberts.
Alexyz Vaioletama later hit an 18-foot jumper for USC to make it 27-24 before Cal closed the first half on a 12-4 run. Clarendon scored four points during the run before Boyd's 3-pointer capped it and gave the Bears a 36-31 lead at the break.
USC trailed by six early in the second half then went on an 11-0 run to go up 46-41. Crook, who scored 11 points in overtime to beat the Bears at Haas Pavilion last year, had all but two of the points for the Trojans.