Updated at: 02/10/2013 4:38 PM
By MICHAEL WAGAMAN
(AP) BERKELEY, Calif. - Talia Caldwell scored a career-high 20 points and had 12 rebounds, Gennifer Brandon also had a double-double and No. 6 California extended its winning streak to nine games Sunday with a 91-86 victory over Arizona.
Layshia Clarendon added 20 points despite a hip pointer in the first half and Afure Jemerigbe scored 11 for the Golden Bears. California (21-2, 11-1) leads the standings and is bidding for its first Pac-12 title.
Davellyn Whyte had a season-high 26 points, seven rebounds and eight assists for Arizona. The Wildcats (11-11, 3-8) committed 21 turnovers and had no answer for Caldwell and Brandon.
Caldwell was especially pivotal in helping Cal win its 13th straight game against Arizona. The senior center scored seven consecutive points for the Bears during one stretch in the second half and also made a wraparound pass to Clarendon for an easy layup.
Brandon had 22 points and 14 rebounds for her third consecutive double-double and seventh in the last eight games.
Cal needed every bit of it.
Arizona trailed by 12 with 2 minutes remaining but closed within 90-86 on Kama Griffits’ fifth 3-pointer.
Brittany Boyd then missed two free throws for the Bears but the Wildcats couldn’t capitalize. Brandon added an insurance free throw before Griffits’ airball.
Griffits finished with 21 points on 7-for-13 shooting, but Arizona lost its seventh straight and remained winless in this series since 2005.
Cal’s nine-game winning streak is its longest since a 12-game run in 2008-09.
Brandon had 15 points in the first half but the Bears struggled at the free throw line, allowing the Wildcats to trim a 10-point lead to 41-37 following Alli Gloyd’s layup with 1:31 remaining.
Clarendon, Cal’s leading scorer who played all 40 minutes in the Bears win over Arizona State on Friday, drew a hard foul by Arizona’s Erica Barnes moments earlier. Clarendon slowly walked off the court holding her left side after Gloyd’s basket. She was taken to the locker room before the break and returned to the bench early in the second half.
Being without its top player didn’t seem to slow down Cal much.
Brandon scored from inside the key and Jemerigbe followed with a 3-pointer just before the buzzer to give the Bears a 46-37 halftime lead.
The Wildcats made one serious run in the second half when the Bears went cold, pulling within 53-49 following a pair of free throws by Erica Barnes.
Clarendon snapped Cal out of its funk with a 3-pointer, then later made back-to-back 15-footers during a 12-2 run when the Bears pulled away.
Gloyd and Barnes finished with 14 points apiece for Arizona.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)