BERKELEY -- Points tended to come in threes for Cal's Brittany Boyd on Friday night, and at clutch times, too.
The junior guard finished with a season-high 25 points in propelling the Golden Bears to a 72-63 victory over Oregon State in the teams' Pac-12 Conference opener before 1,643 fans at Haas Pavilion. When Boyd wasn't doubling her number of 3-pointers made this season from three to six, she was repeatedly converting free throws after making shots while getting fouled in the lane -- typically at moments when Cal needed crucial points.
"Getting her shooting percentage up has been a process," Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb said. "She shot 3 for 23 at UConn, and her confidence was down. I told her that not a lot of players can get that many shots off against UConn -- not many players can maintain that kind of pace.
"Starting with (our game against) Lafayette, we set a goal of shooting 50 (percent) every game, and tonight she shot over 50 percent."
It helped that Boyd (9-for-15 shooting) had a game-high seven steals for Cal (9-3).
"I began the game 1-for-something," Boyd said. "My shots were not falling. But my offense tends to flow from my defense, and once I picked up my defense things started happening."
Boyd's team-best three 3-pointers were something of a surprise, as she entered the game 3 for 30 from behind the arc. She was 3 for 4 on Friday.
"A kid who was shooting 10 percent on 3-pointers going into the game ended up scoring 25 on us," Oregon State coach Scott Rueck said. "She single-handedly took over down the stretch when it was winning time, and that's what good players do."
Boyd was one of four Bears to score in double figures. Junior forward Reshanda Gray had 14 points, senior guard Afure Jemerigbe added 12, and freshman Courtney Range finished with 10.
Sophomore guard Jamie Weisner led Oregon State (8-5) with 22 points and 11 rebounds.
After hitting Cal's only 3-pointer of the first half to help give the Bears a 30-25 lead at the break, Boyd widened the Bears' lead to eight early in the second half. Moments after burying a 3 from the corner with 17:26 to play, Boyd stole the ball from Weisner at midcourt, dribbled behind her back and raced in for a layup, making the score 35-27.
Oregon State eventually fought back to tie the score at 38, but Range scored off an offensive rebound to put Cal back in front. After that, it was a nip-and-tuck contest until Boyd converted a 3-point play with 5:42 remaining, tying the game at 48.
Range sank two free throws with 5:11 left to put the Bears ahead to stay. Those free throws ignited a 16-7 run that swung the game decidedly in Cal's favor. The Bears had a 64-55 advantage entering the final minute.
Cal led at halftime despite struggling to stop Oregon State from the outside early on. Fifteen of the Beavers' first 21 points came on 3-pointers.
The Bears limited the Beavers to just two more treys the rest of the way, however.
Oregon (9-3, 0-1 Pac-12) at Cal (9-3, 1-0), noon, Pac-12 Network