Salt Lake City, UT – Layshia Clarendon scored 18 points and Afure Jemerigbe added 13 as seventh-ranked California held off Utah, 55-50, in the Pac-12 opener for both teams Friday night.
The Golden Bears (11-1, 1-0 Pac-12), who are in the midst of their best start in program history, logged their 600th all-time win. Brittany Boyd scored 11 for California, which shot just 6-of-21 from the field in the second half.
California has a rough schedule in the upcoming days. The Golden Bears play at No. 20 Colorado on Sunday before hosting current No. 4 Stanford on Tuesday.
Michelle Plouffe scored 16 points for Utah (9-3, 0-1), which also received 11 points from both Taryn Wicijowski and Iwalani Rodrigues.
Cal built a 32-20 lead at the half and was ahead by as many as 13 in the second stanza until Utah closed within 47-43 with 2:34 left following a jumper from Plouffe.
Wicijowski sank a jumper in the waning moments to cut the margin to 53-50, but Jemerigbe sealed the outcome at the foul line.