BERKELEY -- The Cal women's basketball team now has a big-time win to match its big-time national ranking.

Behind a season-high 28 points from senior guard Layshia Clarendon, No. 8 Cal topped No. 19 Kansas 88-79 on Friday night at Haas Pavilion in front of 3,009 fans.

The victory -- Cal's first over a ranked opponent this season -- boosts the Bears' record to 9-1, matching their best start to a season ever.

Cal never trailed after Afure Jemerigbe's 3-pointer just under three minutes into the game gave the Bears their first lead. But Cal couldn't shake the Jayhawks until the end.

The veteran team kept its composure, though, and had an answer for every Kansas run.

"Our kids are so good at staying in the moment," said Cal coach Linsday Gottlieb. "From my perspective I was very conscious of this being a very big game and a very big opportunity."

Speed and rebounding helped make the difference for Cal in its victory over Kansas (9-2), a team that reached the Sweet Sixteen last season. Those qualities also helped make up for a poor night at the free-throw line for Cal (12 of 24).

Clarendon scored 16 points in the first half and came just short of matching her career high of 29 set during a WNIT tournament game during her freshman season. She had two key baskets down the stretch that helped salt away the victory.


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"I said going in both teams have really special point guards, both teams have really good bigs," said Kansas coach Bonnie Henrickson. "The difference-maker was No. 23."

Said Gottlieb: "When the game is on the line and when big-time games are here, there's not a guard better in the country at making big shots."

Junior Gennifer Brandon came alive in the second half to secure her sixth double-double of the season, finishing with 17 points and 10 rebounds.

She wasn't the only one to find success down low. All three of Cal's main post players reached double figures with reserve forward Reshanda Gray contributing 13 points and senior center Talia Caldwell adding 12.

"I thought this was a quintessential Cal win, different people stepped up in different moments," said Gottlieb.

Kansas point guard Angel Goodrich, who led the nation in assists last season, had 21 points and five assists. Carolyn Davis added 16 points. Both seniors are on several preseason watch lists for national awards.

Cal, which has only lost at No. 4 Duke, is just getting started on a tough stretch of opponents. After facing George Washington at home next week, the Bears will play ranked Pac-12 teams in four of their following six games.

Follow Stephanie Hammon at twitter.com/stephhammon