Texas Height Too Much For CaliforniaMarch 22, 2015
McGee-Stafford had 20 points and 11 rebounds while creating a daunting mismatch inside, and fifth-seeded Texas advanced to the program's first regional semifinals in 11 years with a 73-70 win against No. 4 seed California on Sunday night.
Brooke McCarty scored twice on driving layups down the stretch on the way to 16 points, and Texas pushed the pace to force Cal into bad decisions.
A year after losing a tough second-round game on Maryland's home floor, the Longhorns insisted they would have no problem taking on the Golden Bears with another feisty home crowd against them.
Now, they're headed to the Albany Regional and a potential date with two-time defending champion Connecticut.
Cal's Mercedes Jefflo scored with 1:30 remaining to cut the Texas lead to 64-60 before Lang answered on the other end.
Lang added 14 points as Texas (24-10) took another impressive step under third-year coach Karen Aston.
Jefflo scored 22 points for Cal (24-10) on a night Pac-12 Player of the Year Reshanda Gray fouled out with 2:35 remaining and seven points in her final collegiate game.
Bears point guard Brittany Boyd had 17 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds, just missing the triple-double while playing her last college game in her hometown before friends and family.
Texas began the second half with a 12-0 run, getting baskets from six different players, and forced eight turnovers as Cal missed its initial seven shots after the break and hurt its chances by not taking care of the ball.
Each time the Golden Bears threatened to get right back in it, McCarty, McGee-Stafford and Texas took charge with a big shot or defensive stop - or steal.
Jefflo pulled Cal within 45-42 on a 3-pointer with 10:22 to go but had the ball stolen the next time down that led to an easy layup by McCarty.
Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb used a timeout with 14:01 left, and she and Boyd could be seen yelling in the huddle. Courtney Range scored the Bears' first basket with 13:42 remaining.
Texas smothered Cal's posts in the paint and kept pressure on the perimeter, too, by jumping into passing lanes to create fast breaks.
Both teams pushed the ball in an up-tempo first half and clogged the paint to try to put pressure on the perimeter shooters. There were a combined 21 turnovers and nobody in double digits, the score even at 27.
Gray, coming off a 22-point, nine-rebound outing in the opener Friday against Wichita State, played 19 minutes.